Persevere in the Wisdom of Kind Words

How to Keep on Persevering in the Wisdom of Kind Words

My family has an almost genetic predisposition toward sarcasm. We open our mouths and out it tumbles, always standing first in the verbal queue. Most of the time it’s funny, ironic, and harmless, but I’m learning that kind words fill a void that even the snappiest comeback fails to satisfy.

She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”

Proverbs 31:26

Does this verse describe you?
The writer connects wisdom with kindness, kindness with wisdom, and I see that a wise woman will have, on the tip of her tongue, words deeply rooted in the true story of God’s rescuing love.

How Can I Cultivate Kind Words?

Scholars differ in their thinking about the identity of the woman described in Proverbs 31, and yet it’s clear that whoever she was, she persevered in the faithful teaching of kindness. That word, “teaching” in Hebrew (also rendered as instruction in some versions, as law in others) is tora, the Jewish name for the first five books of the Old Testament. Holding myself before God’s Word as a regular spiritual discipline, a habit of holiness, is the first step toward cultivating “the teaching of kindness” as my default.

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit, not a bootstraps effort in which I have to remake my personality or start wearing a muzzle. The psalmist got it right when he prayed, “Let the words of my mouth… be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” You may feel as if this is an insurmountable goal–until you remember the power of God to change you from the inside out.

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit, not a bootstraps effort in which I have to remake my personality or start wearing a muzzle.

Kind words, words deeply rooted in the true story of God’s saving love, will be possible for me only to the extent that I study God’s “faithful instruction” for myself, persevering in showing up before God’s printed page and attending faithfully to the demand its words place upon my life. Getting the words right and absorbing their truth deep into my bones so that God’s word becomes the filter through which all my own words travel–this is how a sarcastic woman learns to persevere in the wisdom of kind words.

How about you?
Are you naturally meek and kind in spirit? If so, rejoice, and ask God to deal with your unique sin patterns.
Do you struggle to live and move in the “faithful instruction of kindness?” Me, too.
Let’s pray for each other today!

Holding you in the light,

Kind words deeply rooted in the true story of God’s saving love will be possible for me only to the extent that I study God’s “faithful instruction” for myself, persevering in showing up before God’s printed page, attending faithfully to the demand its words place upon my life.

The new issue of Joyful Life Magazine can now be pre-ordered, and it includes an article from me! Look for “If I’m Already Forgiven, Why Do I Need to Confess My Sins?” Too, my friend Sue Moore Donaldson is sharing her thoughts on spiritual growth. The fall print publication will orient our gaze toward the beautiful growth and change that the Lord is working in our hearts and our homes.

Best of all, the first 100 to pre-order will receive some special bonus gifts.

PREORDER HERE!

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51 thoughts on “How to Keep on Persevering in the Wisdom of Kind Words”

  1. Michele, I love this post. Ah … we have the same gene pool! Definitely.

    Not to get all counselor on this conversation, but along the way I’ve learned that sarcasm can be a passive aggressive form of anger. Hurts, frustrations, fears. Feelings of disrespect. Stuff like that. Leeching out.

    I’ve noticed that our family dynamics shift slightly when someone’s sarcasm comes out. Things get a bit quieter for a minute, it feels unsafe and maybe disappointing.

    You’re so right! Kindness matters. I fill with joy when someone offers that gift to me and I’m learning to be quicker to speak this love language.

    Your wise words are an important nudge to me this morning. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. More and more I find myself praying for my words to be kind and come across kindly. I tease my family often and tell them God has invisible duct tape which He applies to my mouth often 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now as much as ever we need God’s wisdom to send more kind words into the world. I love how a little kindness can go a long way! Thanks for the encouragement today to cultivate more of it in our individual lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michele, kind words can be easy to speak to those who don’t live under my roof. Sadly, it’s my guys who are often on the receiving end of my rude or critical tones and words. And you’re so right,time in God’s word makes a huge difference in my spirit and my understanding of situations with others.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t say kind words come naturally to me. That verse in Proverbs was one I repeated to myself often in my child-rearing years, when tiredness and frustration lent themselves to sharpness. I love the point that that only comes by spending time reading and heeding the Word of God.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This -> “Getting the words right and absorbing their truth deep into my bones so that God’s word becomes the filter through which all my own words travel–this is how a sarcastic woman learns to persevere in the wisdom of kind words.”
    I, too, used to practice sarcasm. I used to be proud of my snappy comebacks. Now I work very hard on muzzling my mouth!

    Like

  7. Being a naturally sensitive person, something I’ve struggled with in order to develop a thicker skin, I’ve always chosen a kind word over a sarcastic one. Now, don’t get me wrong here. Sarcasm, when used wisely, can really spice things up and give more of a humorous perspective on things. We should celebrate and enjoy each others’ differences.
    Blessings, Michele!

    Like

  8. Michele, I’m a “be sarcastic often but instantly apologize in case someone didn’t realize it was sarcasm person!” This line right at the beginning got my attention: “ kind words fill a void that even the snappiest comeback fails to satisfy.” Thanks for this convicting post, and the direction to God’s Word being what changes us, not our own efforts!

    Like

  9. Michele,
    We all need to remember to be kind with all that is going on today!! Thanks for the reminder!! Thanks too for stopping by!! I appreciate that you took the time to do so!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

    Like

  10. My family is humorously sarcastic as well. I grew up and live still on the north shore of Boston where sarcasm is very common. It’s just sort of the way we communicate with one another. At one point I realized that not everyone is sarcastic. That’s when I began to use kind words to communicate as well.

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    1. One of my sons has explained that sarcasm is his love language. I see that in his gentle teasing with his kids.
      It’s not for everyone, but it does seem to be pretty prevalent here in New England!

      Like

  11. It’s interesting how sarcasm can also be a love gesture for some families! It can show that someone is listening, and may even show how well that person knows the other! We do have to be wise in our words to others, don’t we? I know my eldest sister can tease me but she also knows when my sensitivity kicks in and I need encouragement instead. Ah family….they bring out the best and the worst of us at times!

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  12. This reminds me so much of where the Bible says that we speak out of the abundance of our hearts (Luke 6:45). We need to be careful what we put in, because this is what will come out.

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  13. Honestly, we used to joke that sarcasm was our family superpower. Sad but true. But how quickly can something that is lighthearted – even funny – turn into something that just simply does not honor Him. And then it is a habit. Ouch. Good admonition here – thanks!

    Like

  14. Kindness does matter. I have been working on this a bit lately, as our mask mandates in school have created hard feelings for some. I find that often I even just stay silent 🙂 Because if you don’t have something nice to say…..

    Thank you for linking up and I hope you have a great week.

    Like

  15. The older I get, the more I appreciate kind words over sarcasm. Sometimes sarcasm is just plain mean. I’m striving to ensure my words build up, but it isn’t always easy.

    Like

  16. Oh, Michele. “Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit, not a bootstraps effort in which I have to remake my personality or start wearing a muzzle.” What reassurance in these words! (We tend toward sarcasm in our family, too!)

    Thank you so much for joining the Grace at Home party. I’m delighted to feature you this week!

    Like

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