You're So Mean, I Just Have to Be Nice

Matthew 12:34b For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks

In the movie You've Got Mail, the main characters are Joe Fox, President of a giant retailer, Fox Books and Kathleen Kelly, owner of a generationally family owned bookstore. Kathleen is a gentle, non-confrontational female who rarely can think of a snappy response to an unkind remark. Her inability to do so is suddenly resolved when faced with her adversary, Joe Fox. Joe liked her better when she said nothing at all.

So many of us have been taught the adage, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." That is the best one of us could do in our own willpower to be sure. I wonder if God would look at Kathleen Kelly, just like he does me, and long to empower her to a life better than silence-filled resentment or hurtful, regretful retorts.

Today's reading is the 4th chapter of 1 Corinthians. Paul is outlining the character qualities necessary to be used by God. In Verses 12-13, he gives four distinctives of he and his companions lives:
  1. Hard Work
  2. Bless Those Who Curse Them
  3. Endure Hardships
  4. Respond Kindly to Slanderers

Each of these represent an incredibly high life standard. For me, the last is the most difficult. When someone speaks hatefully to or about me (or worse my husband or children), I feel I'm quite noble when I just hold my tongue. God wants much more for me than I can imagine from myself. He can grow a heart of love in me so big, it returns gentle, kind words to verbal attacks.

Jesus, today I choose to want more from my tongue than I might ever think possible. Today I choose to speak kindly to hurting hearts who spew venom in an attempt to make others join in their pain. I trust you to transform my heart, which will transplant my words. Help me speak Your words of tenderness and love today.

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