Sunday, October 30, 2016
“Everyone is overcoming something, be gentle.” ― Nikki Rowe
You can live in a kinder, gentler world without moving anywhere. It’s all up to you. The Bible (Proverbs 15:1) says that “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” This is absolutely true. Christ tells us in the New Testament to love others and return good for evil and the line from Proverbs is a good way to start. If one person starts raising his or her voice and you respond in kind, pretty soon everyone is yelling and no one is feeling good and tempers are flaring. Violence begins this way. I’ve been trying myself to speak in kinder, gentler terms with Karen and John and it has had noticeable results. Our house is a nicer place to live in now. I’ve also been using the “three second rule” to help me. Before you respond to anything, you wait three seconds. You don’t have to count in Mississippi’s, just nod your head three times, but that tiny, briefest of moments is enough to keep me from raising my voice or responding to complaints with complaints of my own. It really works. Try it and you will be amazed. This is nothing new. The writer of Proverbs knew it, Jesus knew it, and, if truth be told, you know it, too. That old rascal, Nicolo Machiavelli wrote in his famous book, “The Prince” that when you adopt the tactics of your enemy—he has already won. In more modern language, “Don’t sink to their level” or “If they go low—you go high.” I can’t think of a better gift to give you this Sunday than that of learning to use soft or gentle words in general and using the Bible’s truths to respond to harsh words with words that absorb hate rather than reflect it. If you will use the three-second rule and try very hard to use soft and gentle words just today—you will find the world around you has changed. Not much else to say, be kind, be gentle, love others as Christ loved you, eh?