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Thursday: Kindness (Not Bitterness) — 15 Comments

  1. There is a poignant scene in the film Oppenheimer where he meets Einstein and they have a chat about the bomb and its consequences. The notable quote from this conversation is:

    When they've punished you enough, they'll serve you salmon and potato salad, make speeches, give you a medal, and pat you on the back telling all is forgiven. Just remember, it won't be for you... it would be for them

    I know the story of Oppenheimer well and have read the book. "American Prometheus". I know how he was treated in the aftermath of the bomb. And I think that Einstein's comment is perhaps the most poignant moment in the whole film. Just remember, it won't be for you... it would be for them

    When we open our mouths, so often what we say is really about ourselves. We want to promote ourselves as better, more knowledgeable, more humble, less bigoted, more ethical, less biased. and so on than our audience. In the pulpit how often does the preacher leave the impression that you have to listen to them because they know more or are filled with the Holy Spirit better than the congregation? The bird photographer in the bush wants to let people know that his list of birds in bigger and the photographs better than anyone else. Ah, we can be a bit subtle about it. But it's about me. (And just to be sure - it also applies to daily comment writers on Sabbath School Net - so I am writing a note to myself this morning.)

    The biggest issue that we have with our speech (and writing) is not what we say about others, but about the covert things we say about ourselves. That is one reason we should be good listeners. It gives less opportunity for us to boast about how good we are.

    • I love King Jesus Christ's quoted words in Matthew 12:37 :

      "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

    • Proverbs 13:3 NLT
      Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.

  2. Words are a powerful tool.Words can define us.I can even remember some words which were said to me more than four decades ago,especially where I was taunted,belittled,talked down on me and bullied.That is how powerful are words can be.We are not tear people down,but encourage them with our words.We are to bless others with our words.A tongue can break hearts,yet it does not have a bone.Our focus should not be always on criticising.

    Be a source of encouragement to others.

    Let us watch our words.

  3. Jesus knew that where there is a reunion of people, there are also differences that separate them. Forgiveness levels all; all need it as much as have to give it. Facing Perfection, unless the vision is twisted, there is an abyss to attain it; forgiveness is the bridge for re-connection with the Godhead.

  4. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32.

    This forgiveness is part of God's Grace. The Grace of God imparts unmerited favor toward we who are sinners in our flesh. If we are to forgive others as God forgives us, then even though someone may do us harm, then we, who are in Christ, would treat others with undeserving favor. I have experienced not only God's Grace toward me, but also the ability to impart grace to others. In so doing, I have found grace's attitude of constant forgiveness repels any pain one might suffer from an offence, leaving peace in the wake of forgiveness. This is one gift of God that I treasure.

  5. The ‘Day of our Redemption’ provides the context for our every-day decision making, not just for when we think ‘that we approach that grand event.' Changing behavior starts with a changed heart and mind; we do not any longer want to willingly hurt someone else! Covert transgressions are just as obvious to the Holy Spirit as overt ones, and our repeated callousness grieves the Holy Spirit

    Who are we trying to fool should we be dishonest with ourselves and our fellow man? It is better that we find out rather sooner than later and accept the inevitable fact that more work needs to be done within us. Thank God that He extends His forgiveness to those who sincerely desire to live in Jesus Christ.

    As an example of the power of words: as a child, about 10 years old, a teacher remarked that my voice caused her discomfort; it shocked me. Eventually I had a tonsillectomy and my adenoids removed, but my psyche was injured and no surgery would change that. Always being anxious when talking, my voice became weak and halting. Jesus released me from this burden when He accepted to heal me from the inside out. Now all is well! 🙂

    • Good point Pete. This is why God wants us to allow the Spirit to change our thoughts and attitudes (Ephesians 4:23 NLT; Romans 12:2 NLT). Once that happens, behavior change follows.

    • They certainly can be, but even when they are expressed in other ways, speech is often part of it. Rarely do people do hostile things in complete silence.

      And lets face it, in a religious community, we don't see too many people expressing their anger or malice through murder or vandalizing someone's property, or even a fist fight. Have you ever seen someone duke it out at church? I certainly haven't. We're much too "civilized" for that. But we can do lots of destroying and killing with our words. And so focusing on speech in this passage is very appropriate when addressing believers - we mainly violate the principles here by the way we use words.

  6. How we speak to our spouses and our children in our homes will help. Then think about our board and business meetings. That may help how we treat others outside of our four walls.


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