The Law of Kindness, Part 3

We’ve been exercising control over our tongue, learning how to take it out of “reverse”, into “neutral”, and finally into “drive”. We covered “first gear” yesterday. Today: “second gear” or how to use the tongue as a wise reprover and teacher.

    Proverbs 25.11,12 “Timely advice is as lovely as golden apples in a silver basket. Valid criticism is as treasured by the one who heeds it as jewelry made from finest gold.” NLT

Rebuke is actually a good thing. When you bring an appropriate rebuke to a wise man, it is welcomed. But there are some guidelines to consider.

    Proverbs 9.7-9 “Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse; whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt. A scoffer who is rebuked will only hate you; the wise, when rebuked, will love you. Give instruction to the wise, and they will become wiser still; teach the righteous and they will gain in learning.”NRSV

We must practice discretion. As we saw above, correction is treasured by the obedient, the wise man. Take care and think first. Consider your audience carefully.

    Proverbs 25.15 “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.” NIV

Great power is demonstrated in this verse. But it is accomplished through endurance and kindness. Our words must be gentle, exhibiting patience. Much can be accomplished, great influence realized, but it may take time. If we want our entreaties and words to be welcomed, they must be kind as well.

    Galatians 6.1 “Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”NLT

Maintain meekness and humility when bringing words of correction or reproof, always remembering your own state of need before Him. Anything you have to bring into the situation was given to you by the Holy Spirit. It is not your own. We stand in need of grace as much as our brother.

    Ephesians 4.15 “Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head.” GNT

We are responsible to share truth. Therefore we must learn truth. Be students of the Word of God. There is no other trustworthy source of truth.

    Colossians 4.6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” NIV

I love that imagery; our speech should be enhanced, if you will, with grace — kindness and mercy should overflow from a heart of love. It flavors every word we speak. Beautiful. Lovely. This is as good as it gets! But you don’t buy grace at the nearby grocery store. Time in His presence, receiving grace for your own thirsty soul — that is where one obtains such precious goods. Soak in His grace; we must minister from a heart steeped in grace.

So we see that speaking truth in love and grace is a much needed ministry in the body of Christ. Begin preparing today. He needs you to do your part!


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