"Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit” (Proverbs 15:4, GNB).
This saying is particularly important when our words are directed at young people, since they are still forming their identity and are very sensitive to what is said about them. Colossians 3:21 says, “Fathers, don't make your children resentful, or they will become discouraged” (GNB).
There is great power in what we say, and this advice applies to all ages. Our words can regularly lift others up or, if we are thoughtless, dishearten them. There are times to speak strongly, or gravely about a situation, but it takes wisdom to know when to place the right word at the right time.
Don't let it get you tongue-tied, though! With practice and asking God to guide your words, you can become a great encourager.
Have you ever said the right thing in the wrong way and regretted it? How could you say it differently in the future?