I was removing an old fence from around our home, when my youngest son asked if it was hard work. I told him it is always easier to tear down than to build up. The same is true with people. It is very easy to tear someone down because we don’t agree with him or her or we think they are doing something wrong. Like Jesus said, it is easier to find the speck in our neighbor’s eye than to find the log in ours.
We live in a world that thrives on looking good. We want to look the part, and sometimes we take shots at others in order to distract people from seeing our faults. This usually backfires because they know that if we will talk about someone else when they are not around, we will probably talk about them.
THINK-ing Before We Speak
One of the best lessons I have been given is to use the acronym THINK. THINK Stand for: is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Needed? Is it Kind?
If we THINK before we speak we can chose to show love and compassion and not hurt or discontent. The book of James says that anyone who can master their tongue is perfect in speech, and we should do our best to tame how we talk and never talk about someone who is not present.
Correcting With Love
Another place we can hurt others is trying to correct their faults. Even when we believe we are correcting someone with love, how and what we say can drive them away from Christ and the church. We are all sinners and we need to not sit by passively when someone is blatantly sinning. However, how and why we are approaching them is essential. It is the Holy Spirit who will convince them they are doing wrong, not you or I.
Remember, “A man convinced against his will, is of the same mind still.” (Dave Ramsey)
Encourage our brothers and sisters in love, THINK before you speak, and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you and them.