“A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.” Proverbs 15:1 The Message
Each new year I try to have one word that I focus on. Last year my word was intentional, the year before it was contentment. This year I am using two words: kind truth. As a recovering people-pleaser with a sometimes too sharp tongue, it behooves me to focus on kindly speaking truth.
When I was a child my mother repeatedly scolded me, “It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it.” It was usually something I said about a particular cousin who was a serious pain. She was a “put a thumb tack in the cereal I was eating” kind of pain. I can even remember our grandmother’s voice saying you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I suppose she meant I shouldn’t have yelled at her, but it was a thumb tack. In my cereal.
Anywho, it seems to me we humans have misplaced our kind truth. Social media just reeks with the stench of harsh words and unfounded accusations. In almost every stream of comments on a post there is someone who will find the ugliest way possible to make their point.Sisters and brothers, we don’t ever have to be ugly, we can always choose to be kind. We can speak truth in love. Or at least like.
I once worked with two women. One was incredibly friendly and kind. Very easy to get along with. The other would on occasion spew venom so easily it would take your breath away. I always wondered what hurt she had stuffed down in her heart and who had hurt her. Both were exceptional at their work and they turned in their resignations within weeks of each other. Whose do you think was immediately accepted and who was asked to please reconsider? There are benefits to being kind.
It has always been harder for me to speak truth to those closest to me. Not that I lie to them, I’m just more guarded. Truth requires some vulnerability and it is so much more difficult to be vulnerable with those I am in close relationship with. What if they stop loving me? What if they think I’m not worth the hassle?
Yes, those are lies from the enemy, thus my two words for 2016. Kind Truth. That will be my focus this year. Proverbs 15:28 says the heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.This year I will focus on thinking carefully and kindly speaking truth and especially with those I love the most. Selah…
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Your Turn: Did you have a mother or grandmother with words of wisdom regarding your behavior? Or has God given you a word for this year? We would love you to share with us your word or some of bits of wisdom. ~ Andrea