Tag Archives: Kindness

Better Words

Ready, Fire, Aim!  Way too often, that’s how my mouth works.  Before I know it, I’ve blurted out something stupid.  Or hurtful.  Just this morning a good friend told me about how I had thoughtlessly hurt his feelings.  I had thought what I’d said was funny.  He felt wounded.  How I wish I had paid more attention to the wisdom of this proverb:

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.  (Proverbs 12:18)

The dictionary says “rash” means acting without forethought or due caution.  That nails it – right between my eyes.  Imagine how differently I’d be feeling if my friend had said, “Your words seemed to heal my heart.”  Instead of trying to find funny words, I’m going to work on finding words that heal, build up or strengthen others.

It’s not that I want to lay my struggles on you.  But, maybe you know someone like me, who could use to pay closer attention to that proverb or to this similar thought from the New Testament:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  (Note: – The original word for “unwholesome” doesn’t mean cussing.  It means something that causes rotting to occur!)  (Ephesians 4:29 – my added note)

So here’s my goal: Ready, Aim, Speak!

Just Sayin’

It is a good time for those of us who follow Jesus to remember His example.  In His day, the most highly respected people were the super-religious, the ones who made a lifestyle and outward display of doing everything they thought God wanted them to do.  The least respected people were prostitutes and tax collectors (generally considered to be traitorous and dishonest).  And yet,

“Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.  –  (Matthew 21:31b)

Make no mistake: it was not that Jesus approved of the things such people were doing.  To the contrary, He had compassion on them, knowing how much they were hurting inside.  He did not condemn them or marginalize them; He loved them and offered them a new way of life.

Whoever you believe are the lowest and least respectable, the type least likely to be welcomed into religious circles, those are the people among whom you would have found Jesus.  When He engaged in angry rhetoric, it was against those who puffed themselves up with religious pride and looked down upon those who were suffering from destructive choices.  If we become known for angry rhetoric against the ones Jesus came to seek and save, we do not represent Him well.