27 February 2017
Try to be kind today
‘A gentle answer turns away wrath.’
Proverbs 15:1 NIV
If you’re an organised, time-conscious, purpose-driven kind of person, you might find yourself getting upset with others who have more of a laid back, spontaneous attitude to life. And if you’re in the spontaneous, easy-going camp, you’ll probably get cross with the types who prefer to plan and stick to a schedule. In the middle of all that frustration and those conflicting personalities, we can end up speaking words that hurt each other. Here’s how Solomon describes a wise woman: ‘On her tongue is the law of kindness’ (Proverbs 1:26 NKJV). Speaking kindly to and about others was one of this woman’s core principles. And when we stop and think about it, there’s never any justification for being harsh or unkind in our words. Certainly not if we’re Christians. God’s been gracious with us, so we should extend that same grace to others. We’ve all heard the old saying: ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ It isn’t true. Harsh words can impact a person for a lifetime. Many so-called ‘social outcasts’ have been victims of verbal abuse at some point in their lives. They might have suffered at the words of parents, teachers, insecure partners and others battling their own emotional issues. So if we find we’re tempted to speak harshly to others, we need to ask God to help us control our words, and then do whatever He tells us to do. The Bible says, ‘He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city’ (Proverbs 16:32 NKJV). Today, make the decision to ‘rule your spirit’ and make kindness the thing you’re famous for.
When you’re frustrated with someone and feeling tempted to react harshly and speak unkind words to them, stop and count to 10 before saying anything. It sounds a bit of a cliché, but give it a try.