“If you can’t be kind, be quiet.”
This is a phrase I hear myself saying often to my children. I am trying to teach them that their words are important and they should consider their words carefully before using them.
I don’t know about you, but this concept is difficult for me to live out, much less my school-aged children. I mean, seriously, how am I supposed to respond in kindness when the precious people in my house are hopping up and down on my last good nerve, a recent post on social media seems like a personal attack, or a good friend hurts my feelings with a careless remark? In those situations, kind words are not how my flesh wants to respond. When my emotions are on edge I tend to react very impulsively, giving little thought to my tone of voice or the words I’m saying.
Our current sermon series is entitled Intentional Acts of Kindness, and I think “intentional” is the key word in that phrase. When something is done with intention, it is planned and purposeful. And in order to plan something, I have to think about it and invest my time before I ever act. Those are things obviously missing when I respond to someone in the heat of the moment or in the midst of my frustrations.
We are called to speak with intentionality. This means speaking truth to one another with grace and remembering that I am just as much of a sinner as the person I’m speaking to. When I take the time to do that, it changes my perspective. It is my responsibility to speak to those I love in a way that shows I honor them even in moments of conflict.
This Sunday, Aug 13, 2017, Shannon’s going to talk about how a loving family speaks truth with grace. As we prepare to receive the Word as a church, meditate on these songs: