John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
“God is the Word and created us to be people of His Word and people of words.” –Clay Clarkson
There has been a shortage of kind words in my world. Not a drought, just a shortage. Sarcasm, hurt feelings, and a weariness of soul all too often push kindness down and replace it with sharp, biting retorts.
But scripture tells us to love kindness. It commands us, as God’s chosen ones, to put on kindness [Col 3:12]. It lists a growing spirit of kindness as one of the ways that we can identify the work of the Holy Spirit in us. And more than that, one of the words God uses to describe His own character – Hesed – is frequently translated “loving kindness.” Sally-Lloyd Jones translates this as “God’s Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.”
Most days, my words don’t seem to emulate a never giving up, always and forever love. Most days, they’re incredible self-seeking, manipulative and weighed down by whatever else is running through my mind that day.
Scripture talks about the need to bridle your tongue, and compares unrighteous speech to a spark that lights off a whole fire.
I’ve seen that in my own world. One careless word sets off a rage that was never meant to be unleashed.
In my own heart, I want to be an advocate for thoughtful, kind speech. For words that try to account for the perspective of those to whom I am speaking. For honesty for the sake of community rather than honesty for the sake of self.
This will almost necessarily involve a swallowing of pride. I will have to rehearse different conversations in my head that don’t end with the best zinger I could come up with. I will need to look for the best in people and actually treat others as I want to be treated.
If I am to be a people of the Word and of words, then I need to zealously guard that privilege. So I will seek to love kindness.