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,Proverbs 31:26
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
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.Tweet
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.Tweet
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.
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