You're So Mean...I Just Have to Be Nice!


This is a repost of one of my most popular posts...hope you enjoy this reprise!
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For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Matthew 12:34b 


Photo Credit: imdb.com
In the movie You've Got Mail, the main characters are Joe Fox, President of giant retailer, Fox Books and Kathleen Kelly, owner of a generationally 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.

When was the last time someone spoke unkindly to you? How did you respond?

12 comments:

  1. Like you, friend, I always think that if I hold my tongue, I'm honoring God. I have those in my life that " spew venom in an attempt to make others join in their pain." For sure. I join in your prayer. Amen.

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    1. Donna, holding you up as you do me in prayer.

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  2. Great post! It's true that unhappy people hurt others. When people do this to me, I really have to take on the mindset that it's sooooo their problem and they're not really fighting me, but fighting themselves. When I look at it from that perspective, I have compassion for them. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Love how that slight turn in perspective moves your heart with compassion. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

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  3. Hi Shannon,
    This is a great post, so very true..........and many times you do feel like you've done your job just keeping your mouth shut, and the Lord settles for that for awhile, and then he always likes to take us deeper................it is so true that hurting people hurt others, and I have had my fair share I can tell you, but the Lord has done some amazing things in some of those situation, especially in my heart!

    Youu've got mail is hubby and I's most fav romantic comedy, and Meg Ryan just cracks me up!
    Makes me want to watch the movie now........we have it, so tonight could just be the night! lol

    Hope you have a wonderful time with your sweet family this weekend,
    Love and Blessings, Nellie

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    1. So glad I inspired a reprise of the movie! How was it?

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  4. Thanks Shannon! I am so glad to read this posting.

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  5. So glad you reposted this Shannon! To describe those 4 traits as part of an "incredibly high life standard" is truly insightful. They don't "look" like much, yet represent a lifetime of blood, sweat, and tears!

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    1. Yes they do - unseen work witnessed only by God.

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  6. Honestly one of the last times someone was unkinds-I DIDN'T take it well---The day had already been boiling up inside me--but most days I try to follow the old saying"if you cannot say anything nice, don't say anything at all"

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    1. Yesterday I lost it at 7 am...this is why I need so much more than just a daily dose of Jesus. :)

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