June 23, 2020
A Soft Word
June 23, 2020
Proverbs 15:1 – “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
This week we are examining the fruit of gentleness, imagining new and powerful ways we can birth gentleness into the world around us.
Davis always says, “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.”
I’m reminded of these words when I read today’s verse because I am known by those closest to me to have a pretty short fuse. My temper flares quick, and it flares hot. When someone says or does something that offends me, harsh words quickly rise to the surface. Sometimes it feels like I can’t stop them; sometimes I don’t want to.
I’ve been learning to recognize a lack of humility in myself in these moments. Those harsh words come from a subconscious decision to make it about me, instead of listening and responding as if what was done or said is about the other person.
The next time someone says or does something that makes you angry and desiring to respond with a harsh word, imagine if what they’ve said or done says more about them than you. You might find it freeing, and a good way to practice responding with gentleness.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- Consider a time you’ve unleashed a harsh word against a spouse, family member, or friend. How did your loved one react?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- Read the book Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss, with your children. Discuss where there is kindness and gentleness.
Dear heavenly Father, please help us transform our harsh words into words of gentleness and peace. Help rip up the weeds of anger and contempt toward our brothers and sisters, and sow instead, seeds of kindness and reconciliation. Amen.
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT CHALLENGE
For the duration of our sermon series, we are offering daily prompts for applying the wisdom from the scriptures to our everyday lives. Each week focuses on how we can encourage those around us and bear fruit! This week we are focusing on the fruit of gentleness.
“Be gentle with people today. You don’t know someone’s inside struggles. Instead of being the last straw, you can be their first sign, hope.”
Take a moment to pray for a more gentle spirit. Pay attention to the opportunities God gives you to be gentle with others today.
To learn more about the Fruit of the Spirit challenge, click here.