Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Be Kind


Psalm 141:3
Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.

Proverbs 15:4
Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.

In a recent post at his blog, Cycleguy's Spin, Pastor Bill writes about the danger of rumors in the church.  I couldn't agree more.  Rumors are the kissin' cousins of gossip.  Even when we think the "news" we're telling others isn't necessarily negative or demeaning to the person being talked about, we too often fail to stop and ask ourselves, "Would I say this to the person's face?"  If the answer is "no," and too often it is, better run, and fast, in the opposite direction!

Bill's post reminds me of a wonderful life lesson the children learn at Vacation Bible School this summer.  Granddaughter, Virginia Rose, volunteers during Missions time to take part in a demonstration that illustrates the importance of the words we speak.  Miss Serena and Miss Sandy, sitting on either side of Virginia, squeeze some toothpaste onto a paper plate.  Virginia's task?  Using a toothpick, get that toothpaste back in the tube!



Of course, as we all know, that's an impossible feat.  Once the paste is out there, it's out there!

And so it is with our words.

The children understand the significance of guarding what comes out of their mouths, and are encouraged to daily offer kind words that heal and help others instead of wounding them.



In this day and age of divisiveness in politics and constant spewing of vitriol on the news and social media, words of kindness, consideration and caring are needed more than ever.  So let's not succumb to the rumors, the gossip, the heated exchanges.  Instead, let us commit to spreading the Good News of God's love through Christ Jesus.

Let us choose, as Virginia has, to be kind.

Amen!

20 comments:

  1. Good post again. Martha. Liked the penultimate paragraph. Today's world is full of gossip, and technology through social media has helped increase it greatly.

    Reminds me of the saying: You do not light up your world by blowing out someone else's candle.

    God bless.

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    1. Oh, I love that saying, Victor! So happy that you chose to share it here.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. First, thanks for the shout out Martha. But more...your words were spot on. The illustration the teachers used is old but very effective. We simply cannot suck back in with our breath the words we say, especially damaging ones. I also agree with Victor's thoughts above me.

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    1. You are more than welcome for the shout out, Bill - such a great post! Yes, it may be an old illustration, but was certainly new to the kids, and it did make a huge impression on them. May all our words be kind!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Amen! What a wonderful life lesson! Be Kind!!! I think we have forgotten that in our world today, and it is a powerful reminder that we need to guard our mouth and heart...for out of the heart proceed our bad thoughts and words that hurt others. May God guard our hearts and our tongues, and let us speak with kindness and love, even when we don't agree with one another.
    Love the toothpaste lesson!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the toothpaste lesson, Pamela - it was a new one for me, though Bill above said it's been around for a while. And yes, may God so guard our hearts and mouths so we reflect His light and love in all we say.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. AMEN, SISTER!!
    Blessings, Martha!

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  5. A wonderful way to teach the children and a good reminder for all of us!! Excellent post!

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    1. Thanks so much, Terri; I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Martha, This is a great lesson--being kind to others is so important. Our words hold great power--we can tear down others way too easily, instead of building up them and sharing encouragement.

    I think I saw a meme on Facebook that said something like: "In a world where you can be anything, be kind". Being kind is quite huge! It's something all of us need to learn and act upon.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Kim, I think I've seen that meme, too. Especially in this country, where our freedoms are guaranteed by our Constitution, we are free to be kind and caring. We have choices. God longs for us to do the right thing, even though He has given us free will. Our words do hold power, that's for sure!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Be kind to those who hurt us and say disparaging things. It takes less muscles to smile than it does to frown, and it takes less energy to be kind instead of harsh. Good lesson with toothpaste.

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    1. Yes, Nells, fewer muscles to smile than to frown. God made us that way, and we need to rejoice in that. Glad you liked the lesson!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. One God taught me right away after salvation was I did not have to like someone to be kind to them or even forgive them. My husband is an extremely kind man, in fact the kindest man I know. I on the other hand have to work at it, on purpose be kind and after years of doing that I find I can be kind without even thinking about it. Repetition pays off. Good reminders Martha.

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    1. Betty, such an inspirational reflection on the differences in personality that can all be used for God's glory. Yes, it's harder for some of us than others, according to how we are wired, but we can learn, change and grow in grace, thanks to the One who guides and leads.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Wonderful verse to start with, and what a great visual with the toothpaste example.

    When my kids were growing up, two of my daughters were in perpetual conflict with each other. Our home was their battlefield. It was exhausting. I tried everything and failed to redirect their hostility towards each other.

    Finally, as a last resort, I sat them down and proposed a deal. I would PAY them a dollar a day to be nice to each other. At the end of the day, they either both got the dollar, or both didn't. And I was the judge and there were no appeals.

    They were immediately united in the goal of making some spending money. One daughter observed that this program was going to cost me a lot of money. I replied that to me, it was a bargain at twice the price.

    Miraculously, they immediately changed their behavior. At first, it was totally insincere, but I didn't care. I just wanted the ugly interactions to stop.

    Over time, however, their attitudes truly changed. Once the habit and pattern of hostility was broken, it gave them some space to rediscover what they really did have in common, and what they appreciated about each other. Their kindness to each other became sincere.

    So much of our unkindness to each other, even what we think of as harmless rumors, is really just a habit, and with some conscious effort, following your suggestions in this post, we can become more self aware and change our behavior. Even if we are not getting paid to do it, we will reap huge rewards!

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    1. Oh, what a marvelous story about your daughters! I do hope lots of readers will take time to read this, and come away with some priceless wisdom about handling conflicts. I know I'll store this gem away to tell my daughter when Virginia and her sisters are scrapping.
      And yes, kindness must be practiced to be internalized. So glad you thought of this strategy to use with your children.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. Wow! What a great visual lesson!

    The tongue can be vicious. As we know it pour forth what is in our heart.

    I'm with you, sister. What a great reminder for us to be the light in a dark world... by pouring forth the love of Whom we serve.

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    1. Yes, Floyd, our tongues can be vicious and lead us into all kinds of trouble and woe. May we all speak words of kindness instead, and be that light God intends us to be.
      Love and blessings!

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