“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25
One of the marks of good speech is kindness. It is not enough for words to be truthful.
The word translated as “kind” means “personal and kind, pleasant and sweet, timely and thoughtful”. Because our words must be life-giving, we must never use truth as a weapon.
We must ask ourselves why we are telling the truth. Is it to win an argument? To punish or pay back by embarrassing the other person? To undermine something true that the person is saying that we don’t want to hear? To defend pride? To complain? To make ourselves look good to others?
St. Paul says every word must pass this test – “that it may benefit those who listen … according to their needs (Ephesians 4:29). When we tell the truth, we should always have a “ministry” motive. We should only confront to help another person achieve illumination and understanding or to remove distance and barriers between us and the other person. Speak the truth, but in love (Ephesians 4:15).
If we do so, it can lift up someone sinking in anxiety and fear. With Jesus’ spirit, He makes our love from being irritable, impatient or indifferent to anyone else.
Adapted from “The Way of Wisdom” by Timothy Keller
Mr Shane Jurecky, Principal