While Thanksgiving Day is approaching, the “season” of Thanksgiving is already here!
One way to express our gratitude is to show kindness in how we speak to others. Mother Teresa says it well: "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." What we say and how we say it will be turned over and over in the hearer’s mind, and it’s hard to erase those thoughts and memories. Words are powerful.
When we reflect on kind words, we feel encouraged, uplifted, and positive; but it is the unkind words that continue to haunt us. At times, those words can interrupt our thoughts without any warning, affecting us in different ways. Perhaps our minds even become paralyzed for a time.
We have a responsibility to be kind in our response to hearing unkind words. While we may be tempted to render a curt or rude response, we can set a better example by being kind in return. Consider what the other person might be dealing with. We cannot control others, but we can control our response.
Let me also point out that not all unkind words are verbal. In today’s digital world, many of our conversations happen via email, text, or Twitter. Be careful that “keyboard courage” (a new phrase I heard this week) doesn’t dictate your response. Remember to be kind as you type, knowing “it’s easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar!”
I am grateful that Jesus was always kind. His gentle words of encouragement and instruction can carry us through each day if we let them. His words bring a soothing salve to our hurting hearts and ears.
In 2 Timothy 2:24, we are instructed well. “And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” There are many other verses in God’s Word that remind us to be kind:
- A Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22)
- An example of love (I Cor. 13:4)
- Sweet and healing (Prov. 16:24)
- Weighted down OR cheerful (Prov. 12:25)
So let’s be thankful by expressing kindness in what we say and how we say it.
Written by WMU of Texas President Earl Ann Bumpus