Bless Your Heart!

Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Proverbs 16:24 KJV

The phrase “Bless your heart” can be a wolf-in-sheep’s clothing kind of saying. “Bless your heart” can be a sincere expression of sympathy or a gracious-sounding grenade. When Southerners want to say something nasty about someone, they pour a little “word syrup” over the insult to make what they say sound downright polite. For instance, “Bless his little pea-picking heart. If brains were dynamite, he couldn’t blow his nose,” or “Bless her heart. She’s so stubborn, she’d argue with a stop sign,” or “Bless her heart. Granny cooked enough supper to feed Pharaoh’s army.” You can “say it nice,” or “say it as vice,” but “bless your heart” is an expression that is here to stay.


Bad-mouthing is still bad-mouthing, no matter how sweetly one says it. The tongue has no bones but it has the power to break someone’s heart. Our words should be as sweet as our tea. As the old saying goes, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, say nothing at all.”


This is an excerpt from Sweet Tea for the Soul. Shop our books to read more down-home devotions just like this one.