On the one hand a childhood saying “Sticks and bones may hurt my bones, but words will never hurt me” spouts a lie.
On the other hand, “a kind word cheers a person up.” Proverbs 12: 25 niv
Kinds words uttered softly and liltingly can unlock closed minds and soften hard hearts.
In a fable attributed to Aesop, the Sun and the North Wind enter into a contest to see who can get a passing traveler to remove his coat. The North Wind blows furiously in an attempt to strip the coat from the man, but the effort backfires. The man only wraps his coat around him even more tightly. Then the Sun gets a turn. In no time, the coat is off, thanks to the Sun’s gentle warmth.
Our kind words also accomplish what a verbal buffeting could never do.
Our words can heal; they can inspire; they can empower.
Mother Teresa purportedly said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
“Whoopsies” and “wows.”
I learned more from my “whoopsies” than my “wows.”
“Wows” manifest what we currently can do while “whoopsies” strip away the fabric of perfection and can lead to growth.
Mercy builds upon whoopsies and provides a person what they need while justice imposes on them what they deserves.
Mercy restores while justice imprisons.
“The merciful persons does oneself good …”Proverbs 11: 17 nasb
“It is good to be merciful and generous.” Psalm 112: 5 ncv
Wisdom manifests mercy.
Wise people don’t emphasize other people’s mistakes.
The Bible proclaims in Proverbs 17:9, “Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends” (TLB).
When we are wise, we don’t rub it in or punish.
We need to have mercy: we give people what they need, not what they deserve.
Justice points down and backwards and buries a person while mercy frees a persons and points up and forward.
Mercy is a life giving choice while judgment is a death dealing choice.
“Mankind’s biggest failure is its inability to learn from the mistakes of the past, and its silence in the face of atrocities committed against those without a voice.” Jana Petken, The German Half Bloods.
The first part of this quote parallels old definition of insanity “Doing things the same way and expecting a different outcome.”
Relative to the second part of this quote is from the saying by Edmund Burke who once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” In 1770 this Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke wrote about the need for good people to associate to oppose the cabals of bad people.
The wisdom remains and the need perdures.
Andrew Luck — Does this name ring a bell?
This person and his decision impacted many, some reacted with anger while others responded with praise!
To react or to respond?
All actions have consequences — some we enjoy while others we suffer.
Some actions in life inherently involve force, sometimes violence, and often long term injury.
After an earlier period of this his life, this man chose a new path, a different path — choosing for his family, their future, and ability to fully participate in life.
Straight to the heart
And Joses…was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement). Acts 4:36
Writing notes typified an earlier generation.
While getting a text message or something in another electronic format are good to the receiver and expedient to the writer, the handwritten note far exceeds any form of electronic communications.
We never know how much our notes mean to other people.
When we speak a kind word or write an encouraging note, it goes to the heart of the recipient.
Any one of us can be like Barnabas and be a willing servant of God, blessing and encouraging others and glorifying the Lord through our actions.
We never know what a humble word will mean to others.
Charles H. Spurgeon once wrote “It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.”
How often do we laugh?
I spent time spent with one of the grandsons, this one age 9, who loves comedy shows.
What a joy spending time laughing with a nine year old who loves comedy shows.
One had a comedian who was also a ventriloquist.
This combination appear to be one of fools.
A portrayer of laughter and wisdom is the fool.
This understanding lacks depth and insight.
Drawing from the wisdom emerging from Paul Harvey “And now for the rest of the story.”
“But the fool is not an idiot. The courage and the freedom of the fool liberates us. The fool tells the truth while making fun of our arrogance and our conventional wisdom. He shows us up for who we are and that’s what Jerry did. He was a blessing.
“It’s the ones who aren’t satisfied with who we are who drive us to greatness.”
Jim Carrey on Jerry Lewis, Time magazine, 09/04/200.
Every day with everyone in every way.
“Every” is a word and life style seldomly employed.
Yet… I’m a person of patterns and habits.
This focus prepares me to respond rather than react to the surprises in every day.
Everyday I read faces and books, reflect, review, pray, and write.
I ask “what delights and what disgusts.”
As you can surmise I relish and use alliteration.
I learn from many.
This past weekend two grandsons spent time with us and next weekend a granddaughter.
From time in the pool to time running around chasing each other, finding twigs and sticks.
Fun without electronics.
I learned from them the joy or water and running around, in their case literally and in my case figuratively.
Let’s listen, learn, and live.
In certain ways we are all alike — to be cared for or cared about, to be respected, to be listened, to be understood,to belong, to be protected from harm.
We want and need freedom and opportunity.
The first rule of relationships is this: Find out what you want and give it to others.
To have a friend, be a friend.
When we look inside, we discover a voice that we all share.
The voice of our own needs will guide us as we reach out to others.
Listen, include, encourage, forgive, and care.
“Treat others just as you want to be treated.”Luke 6: 31 cev
Guardian or gossiper?
We all have parts of our life which we need to keep to ourself.
We call these our secrets that we don’t want shared with just anybody.
Every person needs someone can be trusted and with whom we feel safe.
These persons exude confidence, someone in whom we believe.
Please chose these trusted people wisely.
Let’s also be a person of trust, bringing immense value into our relationships.
One the one hand, one person guards secrets; on the other hand, another person blurts out secrets.
The first is a guardian of secrets while the other is a gossiper of secrets.
Gossip makes some people feel better about themselves, but the damage it does to trust, reputations, and friendships is never worth it.
Sometimes gossip is motivated by jealousy or a desire to get revenge.
A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. Proverbs 11: 13 nlt
The second wise choice
Yesterday the post started with with A reference to Charles “Tremendous” Jones who once said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.”
A promise was given to reflect wisely in the books you chose.
I read to be inspired — hence I read the Bible every morning, especially the books of Proverbs and Psalms.
I read to learn — hence on the lives of leaders — I’ve started a book on Charles Dickens and his famous sayings.
The choose to read for other reasons.
What about the books you read and why you choose them?
I would love to hear from you.
Please write to email@example.com.