The Law of Kindness, Part 1

This month we have been studying the negative effect of slander, a grave misuse of the tongue. Indeed, as we read in James 3, the tongue may be small, but it is powerful.

    James 3:5 NRSV So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!

But be reassured. We do not need to take a vow of silence. This small member, although difficult to tame, can, through the Holy Spirit working in us, be used for great things. Our virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 fame spoke with wisdom and the law of kindness on her tongue. We can, and should, do the same. With Him, all things are possible! We will look at a new aspect of this every day this week. So be sure to check in regularly!

Today let’s start at the very beginning — a very good place to start! Let’s begin with understanding the need to bridle our tongue.

    Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from trouble.”

If your tongue is presently doing more damage than good, it is like a car in “reverse” gear. Before it can be moved to “drive” it must be brought to “neutral”. That is the first step in learning to bridle, or direct, your tongue. Just learn to keep it quiet. Before it can be filled with good things we must practice control. It begins with keeping still, refraining from comment. That is a big order for many of us, especially in certain situations. We have so much to say, such great information to pass along! Learn to just “put a lid on it!”

    Proverbs 15:28 “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer.”
    Proverbs 20:15b “…the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”
    Ephesians 5:3,4 “…neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.”

Once we have learned how to quiet the tongue, we can begin taking time to study how to answer. Because we have learned to answer slowly, we can apply discretion and contemplate the appropriate truths, choosing words of thanksgiving, wisdom, and knowledge. This is the beginning of positive, powerful influence. Remember, study carefully: what goes in comes out!

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

We need His daily help in our lives. Bridling the tongue requires self-control (next month’s topic!) which is a fruit of the Spirit. It comes from Him and our willingness to allow His work in our lives. Humble yourselves and seek Him for growth in this area. He is a generous Father who withholds no good thing from His children!

Tomorrow we begin several days of studying ways to use the tongue in kindness. It is more exciting than you may think!


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  1. About “neutral”: When I am spending a lot of time in neutral, I find that it’s an opportunity to realize what the heart behind my words is — unlike when I’m in the habit of just saying whatever, and the words are gone before I’ve had time to ponder what is motivating them. Thinking before I speak is not just so that I can make sure I have something nice to say, but also so I can ask myself, “What’s in your heart that’s motivating you to speak poorly of so-and-so?” Often, I am able to repent of envy, unforgiveness, a judgmental attitude, etc. And it is wonderful to be cleansed of such garbage!

    Posted by Danica | May 27, 2008, 6:10 am
  2. Excellent reminders. Thank you so very much.

    Miss tendency-toward-negativity herself,
    Michele L.

    Posted by Michele | May 28, 2008, 7:18 am