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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Right + Rude = Wrong

In review of Galatians 6:1, it says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently help make him right again. But be careful, because you might be tempted to sin, too.”

Bottom Line:
My friends, you are spiritual. So if someone is trapped in sin, you should gently lead that person back to the right path. But watch out, and don’t be tempted yourself.

What this means to me:
If someone I know starts to get off track, I should go to them and gently help them back to the right path. I do need to be cautious, to make sure that I’m not tempted by the same thing. At one point or another, those around me will disappoint me, nobody’s perfect. A key thing will be to learn how love responds when people disappoint me. In Galatians 6:1 it says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently help make him right again. But be careful, because you might be tempted to sin, too” (NCV). The loving response to people who disappoint me is to be gentle, not judgmental.  To have the tough conversation and to confront those I love when they are doing wrong is to be done in a respectful and gentle manner. I should not be harsh, rude or mean spirited. Today, I’m reminded of a simple formula: “Right + Rude = Wrong”. It doesn’t matter if I’m right. If I’m rude about my interactions, nobody will care what I have to say. They’re just get defensive! (I know I would.)  So I should respond in a gentle and loving way if I want to get through to someone who has disappointed me. Proverbs 15:4 says, “Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit” (NLT). I always have a choice in how I speak to someone, even my direct family. Deeply hurtful words can wound a person, and I can easily scar someone for years. But the Bible says that kind words are words that will heal and help. So when others mess up, I shouldn’t get on their case, telling them whatever I think they are at the moment. Instead give them a vision of how things could be! Speak words of life and health and hope into them, not harsh words of judgment and be gentle. I need to learn to cut others some slack and be kind and gentle in my speech and responses. Today I will consider my speech patterns and strive to be gentle.

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