Lord, help me see the opportunities I have to share words of kindness to others. Amen
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)
When I started teaching, I thought the way to control a classroom was to use a loud voice to call out those creating problems. This worked very effectively in the midwestern elementary school where I started teaching. I was known for having good, strong discipline. When my wife and I moved to a large metropolitan area to teach, I was assigned to a ghetto school. My classroom was made up of students who came out of project housing and few had academic skills. It was soon evident to me that my tried-and-true discipline technique was not working. These students grew up being yelled at and could tune me out in a short time. I quickly learned that for me to maintain control, I had to follow Solomon’s advice in Proverbs 15:1 and lower my voice and speak firmly. It was a lesson that guided me throughout my career.
A devotion from the Presidential Prayer team expands this concept: “More often than not, the single word of kindness multiplies and the stranger passes on encouragement to others around them. Positivity and kindness are infectious, and an entire neighborhood can be transformed through a single encouraging word.”
The same devotion points out, “You are not just a passive observer or helpless participant. Through Christ’s act on the cross and by the power of the Holy Spirit, you can turn negativity from others into kindness and love.” Take time this week to help make the world around you better by spreading kind words wherever you go. The devotion continues, “Speak kindness where you see injustice, speak hope where you see discouragement, speak love where you see division, and speak mercy where you see oppression.
Thank you for calling us to a spirit of kindness and gentleness.
In a world where the loudest and the angriest take up all the air,
you've commanded us to lead out with a gentle spirit of love.
This does not mean we are to sit back and remain complacent,
rather it means it calls us to servant leadership that will speak for itself.
Teach us to be humble, full of warmth and Christlike tenderness as we walk through life.
Through your spirit, lead us to move in compassion.