While it may make us feel better to give someone a “piece of our mind” or tell them exactly what we think, it doesn’t always produce good results. To influence others, our words need to be kind and soft rather than harsh and critical. The Bible says “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6). When we use words that are kind and non-judgmental, we will usually get a better response. Our goal shouldn’t be to win an argument, it should be to influence others for better behavior.
George Truett was a very effective pastor for many years in Texas. One day while hunting with his best friend, this pastor accidentally killed his friend.
Several years after that accident, his daughter said, “I never heard dad laugh again after that day.”
Pastor Truett had a radio program. He always closed the broadcast with the these words:
Be good to everybody, because everybody is having a tough time.
Why would he close the broadcast with these words? He understood personally what burdens other people might be carrying. This tragic incident encouraged him to have compassion toward other people.
Every day we run into people who seem rude and harsh. Because of their behavior we find it difficult to like them…yet many times, there is a reason for their behavior. What a heavy heart and horrible situation in their lives might they be hiding that cause their rudeness.
Since God offers His presence to us during our darkest moments, shouldn’t we in turn offer others our compassion to those who are hurting around us.
Father, grant us the candor to admit to each other that sometimes life overwhelms us. And grant us the courage to help others find help—and to seek it when we need it.