Saturday, August 5, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, August 5, 2023

This is a reprint of Pastor's Ponderings from August 6, 2018.  These words are still important as we deal with each other in an increasingly hostile world.

Let’s Speak Kindly To Each Other

In the play, The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare wrote, “The quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”  It is amazing how many people choose to ignore these blessings. From vicious tweets, sexist body shaming, and angry conspiratorial lies to everyday humiliating insults, few seem to want to be left out of these hurtful attacks.  

But the Bible says that goodness and mercy shall follow us all of our lives (Psalm 23:6).  God says the merciful are blessed because they shall receive mercy (Matthew 5:7).  Showing mercy is part of the basic requirements of God, which is to act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8). Coming before God in the Day of Judgment, we cannot expect to be applauded for how often we made others cry. The Bible says we are to lift others up with what we say (Ephesians 4:29). Furthermore, we are to treat others, as we would like to be treated.  

This week let us carefully consider our written and spoken words and decide whether we would like to receive them from others.  God said that vengeance is His alone and He will repay those attacks (Romans 12:19). Instead of escalating hurtful comments and raging threats, let us take advice of the Bible and remember that a soft answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1).

Psalm 23:6
King James Version (KJV)
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Matthew 5:7
New International Version (NIV)
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Micah 6:8
New International Version (NIV)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? He requires us to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Ephesians 4:29
Amplified Bible (AMP)
29 Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak].

Romans 12:19
New International Version (NIV)
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Proverbs 15:1
New International Version (NIV)
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

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