We all understand that words deserve to break our hearts. The holy bible puts the this way: “The tongue has actually the strength of life and also death, and also those that love it will eat the fruit.”
In mine growing-up years, ns remember hearing countless catchy sayings that made a lot of sense, such as, “People that live in glass dwellings shouldn’t litter stones,” and also “A rolling rock gathers no moss.”

Another well-known adage is “Sticks and also stones might break my bones, however words will never hurt me.” What i say in an answer is, “Wrong, wrong, wrong!” we all recognize that native can rest our hearts. The bible puts it this way: “The tongue has actually the power of life and also death, and those that love it will certainly eat the fruit.”

Words have the right to kill a relationship. Words deserve to murder our an inspiration and inspiration. This truth was freshly driven home to me once I to be leading a conference in Indiana.

You are watching: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will break my heart

“How plenty of of you have actually really struggled through forgiveness? You’ve had actually a huge struggle forgiving who who has hurt friend deeply?”

Immediately hands walk up… around one-fourth of the audience. Quickly I scan those with increased hands, searching for someone physical fit.

My question comes in ~ the start of my speak on forgiveness, but it isn’t until the last 15 minutes that I allude to the 30ish-year-old man.

“Sir, I require some help. Would certainly you be ready to join me top top the platform?” Surprised, he nods through a smile and also saunters approximately the stage. Currently we both stand beside a table that has a mound that rocks. “Would girlfriend share your name and something about yourself?”

“My name is Rick. I’m one accountant, and my hobby is running. Once I’m not at work, I’m typically running because I setup to go into a marathon this year.”


“Here you go, Rick. On slide this meat hook carefully approximately your neck.” His eyes open wide—the hook watch ominous. He offers me a wary glance. Some civilization in the audience groan (probably just glad castle weren’t picked!). Slowly, cautiously, rick slides the height of the hook about his neck. The column of the hook got to down his chest to waist level, and also the pointed pointer was in front of him. I press the top of the burlap bag end the reminder of the hook.

“Rick, at the beginning, when I asked if anyone had struggled through forgiveness, ns noticed you increased your hand.”

“That’s right.”

“What has actually been so hard to forgive? would you tell me what happened?”

At this allude I reach over to the mound of rocks, knowing that every time stack mentions one offense, I will drop a rock or a small boulder right into the burlap bag. Every rock to represent a dorn someone has committed versus him—a wound he is carrying.

Rick starts by going earlier to his childhood. That doesn’t take lengthy for us to find out that every his “rocks” come indigenous the very same source—growing up v a harsh, occasionally tyrannical father who was unaffectionate and inflexible. Together Rick focuses on his father and also the not correct suffered, he speak softly:


“Never agree me for that I am….” His father’s critical, caustic words pressure the very first rock come fall.

“Zero affection….” No hand on the shoulder, no hugs, no pats top top the earlier earn a fist-sized absent flung into the bag.

“No play time….” No happy wrestling, no playing catch, no playing anything—they all warrant an additional weighty rock. The much more Rick remembers, the an ext he elaborates ~ above what he has missed.

“No father-and-son times….” No hanging out together, no talks around manhood, no career conversations. This drives another rock downward. Rick continues pushing the emotionally “replay button” buried in his memory.

“Screaming….” A sudden, fear flashback causes Rick to wince. Every the yelling and verbal assaults generate a considerable jagged rock.

“Hurting mine mother….” His father’s lattice emotional and also verbal abuse sends a considerable sandstone dropping into the bag.

“Get out of my sight!…” His devaluing, denigrating native propel a huge hefty boulder.

“Rejection….” sums increase the emotional affect of all his father’s wounding. Momentum drives a very large, difficult rock into Rick’s bag. That crashes versus the various other rocks inside, leaving some small, sharp-edged fragments. Jagged pieces space painfully wedged in Rick’s memory. Ultimately, rejection states it all.

Expanding on the visual, i tell rick he has a bag the rocks resident in his soul. Because that years he has actually been hauling rocks the resentment, stones that hostility, and also boulders that bitterness. Climate I allude to the bag hanging indigenous the hook about his neck—the burlap currently straining native the load of the rocks.


"What would happen if you were to save walking approximately with the bag of rocks hanging onto your hook the remainder of her life?”

He instantly responds, needing no time to think, “I wouldn’t have the ability to run anymore.” i am surprised and also glad at his answer. Rather of saying, “I would come to be bent over,” or “It would be difficult to walk,” Rick, the dedicated athlete, expresses worry that he can no much longer run. His an answer articulates so fine the price of failing to eliminate cumbersome “rocks.” Think of all the bibles that refer to running. The apostle Paul says, “Do friend not know that in a gyeongju all the runners run, however only one it s okay the prize? operation in together a way as to get the prize.” and he asked, “You were running a great race. Who cut in on you and also kept you from obeying the truth?”

What Rick claimed from a physical standpoint—“I wouldn’t be able to run anymore”—is simply as true emotionally and also spiritually. Weighed under by too plenty of rocks, the finest we would be able to do is trudge our way through life. If much more rocks are included to the pile, we’ll barely have the ability to move forward. And also if even much more rocks are thrown ~ above the heap, we will totally collapse under the weight.

See more: Spiritual Beings Having A Physical Experience, Spiritual Beings Having A Human Experience

But once we find out to forgive—even when we don’t feel like it—we eliminate the rocks dragging united state down and depleting our strength. Together we work-related through the procedure of forgiveness, we room set free from the push of the strain…we feel unshackled…we feeling released…we feeling free!


The prophet Isaiah defines what this flexibility is like: “They will certainly soar top top wings like eagles; they will certainly run and not thrive weary, they will walk and also not faint.”

Now back to Rick: The last thing I want to do is leave this injured young man weighed under by emotional pain. I want to view him run!

“Rick, perform you want to live the remainder of your life delivering all this pain from your past?”

“No, i don’t.”

“Then are you ready to take every the previous pain off of your hook and place that onto God’s hook?”

"Yes, ns am.”

“Would you be ready to take her father turn off of your emotional hook and place him onto God’s hook?”

“Yes, I desire to.”

In prayer, us both go before God’s throne of grace. “Lord Jesus,” ns start.

“Lord Jesus,” that echoes, “thank You for caring about my heart… and also how lot I’ve to be hurt…You recognize the pains I have felt… due to the fact that of my father’s treatment…his anger…his lack of affection… his abuse…his rejection.”

All of a sudden, transparent the crowd, the unexpected occurs. As Rick repeats the prayer, making the his own, an undercurrent the prayers—barely over a whisper—waft throughout the room. Goose-bumps rise on mine arms. Emotion a divine sense that awe, ns realize that on this day, an ext than one bag that rocks is quickly to be empty.

“Lord, I relax all this pain into Your hands….Thank You, mr Jesus…for dice on the cross for me…and prolonging Your forgiveness to me…. As an act of mine will…I choose to forgive my father.”


As Rick continues to pray, a remarkable adjust takes place. His voice, at first reserved, swells with figured out strength.

“I pick to take my father…off that my emotionally hook…and appropriate now, I place him…onto your hook…. I refuse all thoughts that revenge…. I trust the in her time friend will attend to my father… just as You check out fit. And thank You, Lord, for offering me…Your power to forgive…so that I can be set free…. In Your divine name i pray. Amen.”

Rick’s tears the gratitude expose he is currently experiencing the liberty of forgiveness. And at this exact same time, with the strength of forgiveness, many bags the bitterness transparent the auditorium have been emptied.

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About June Hunt: together founder of three radio programs: Hope because that The Heart, hope In The Night and Moment Of hope -- June hunting pours the end God’s love and also life-changing reality to thousands. She warmth, wit, and also wisdom come with the microphone work after day and night ~ night. June"s heart to aid others is also revealed in she books, see Yourself v God"s Eyes, Bonding v Your teen Through Boundaries and also Healing the Hurting Heart. She Counseling with the bible course, i beg your pardon covers almost 100 topics, is being translated into more than ten languages and continues come be provided by pastors and also spiritual leader worldwide. Due to the fact that she to know firsthand just how emotional pain have the right to paralyze a person for life, June is never ever shocked by the traumatic experiences of others, and she plainly communicates that there is no ache too great for the healing hand of the great Physician! for those who lives have been shattered, June provides this assurance: "God mends the broken heart as soon as you offer Him every the pieces."