Is there ever a reason to speak harshly to someone? Strongly, yes, but unkindly, no. I think Scripture backs me up.
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights [we must always be in our right mind, accessing the mind of Christ].
One morning, as I was reading through my Scripture cards, I began to play the “What If” game. What if I were to assume the attitude given in the verses I was reading each time I entered into a conversation with someone? How would it change the way I talk and operate? The verses I was reading were:
2 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 5 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 4:28-5:2
If I were to consciously quote these verses to myself each time I began a conversation with someone, I would be prepared to put them into practice in the conversation. I know this: My flesh rebelled flagrantly at the idea. “It’s too much work!” “They might not be nice back.” These were a couple of the arguments my flesh made. The Spirit made some good arguments, too, though. “You will be viewed as a godly individual.” “You will be spreading the fragrance of Christ.” “You will be like Me.” The first two were good, but the last one got me. It is my highest goal to be like my Savior, Jesus Christ.
As I was contemplating the idea, other verses began to come to me,
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:2-3
What might happen to all of us if we were to adopt this way of thinking? What would happen to others? Do you think that Christ might be honored and that people would want what we have–or, Who we have? I do, too! Let’s try it, shall we?
Abba, may I make it a habit to mentally run through these verses as I enter into conversations with others. Please remind me, Lord. I need Your power and Your participation to do it! May You be honored. Amen.