Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words…

  • Hurt
  • Erode
  • Linger
  • Pain causing
  • Mislead
  • Exclude
  • Poison
  • Libel
  • Estrange
  • Alienate
  • Scar
  • Endanger


Some people are so beaten down by cruelty they don’t know where to go or who to ask for help. 

Can you see their distress signal? 

What can we do to counteract cruelty? 

This week at Create we started by going through the different ways people are subjected to cruelty.

Cruelty is everywhere

Cruelty is everywhere, from online trolls using social media to attack people, to people who physically or emotionally abuse others, to any other sort of predatory behavior. Just turn on the news or mainstream media and you’ll see all kinds of cruelty all over the place. 

As we read through some verses, Katrina had one that stood out to her: Proverbs 11:17. She said that in her studies she came across a commonality: “hurt people will hurt other people”. 

Those who are kind benefit themselves,
but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.
— Proverbs 11:17

So how can we deal with people when we don’t know the circumstances in which they come from? I like the book of Titus – it has repeatedly shown up to me in the past and again to me this week. Titus 3:2 says speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and show perfect courtesy toward all people:

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
— Titus 3:1-2

Have you ever noticed that the person who is loudest in a disagreement is usually the one who has the conflict of conscience versus the present reality? It’s human nature. They just want to be right and don’t have anything to back their position, so they just try to shout you down. But, if you are secure in your spirituality then the harmful things that come at you, intentionally or unintentionally, hold no affect on you.

Be gentle

Many times we don’t have the ability to know people’s circumstances or to see their distress signals, so be the gentleness that someone needs. Encourage them. Let them know that they are not alone. Be humble and share a story of how God has been in your life, and follow up whenever possible. Sometimes it may just be a passing moment with a stranger, but even those are important too.

How about these gentle reminders instead:

  • Guide
  • Engage
  • Notice
  • Talk-to
  • Listen
  • Empathize
  • Niceness
  • Elevate
  • Smile
  • Save

Try some gentleness towards others; God loves them too.