Did you know that there is reason to believe that plants grow stronger and healthier when kind words are spoken to them than when mean or angry words are spoken to them? While it’s debated, like many other things, it makes you think, right? If a plant on your kitchen windowsill grows better with encouragement, how much more will people benefit from encouraging words than from words of anger and frustration! That doesn’t mean that we never correct someone when they’re wrong or we never point out sin issues that we see in their life, but these things should be done with gentleness and love and joined with encouragement of what they are doing well and how you know they have it in them to overcome this struggle. James 3:1-12 reminds us of the power that a person’s words can have and how we need to be very careful about how we use them, and although nobody can perfectly guard their words it is vitally important that we try.
As a part of the body of Christ which Paul talks about in Ephesians 5, 1 Corinthians 12, and Romans 12, we must think of ourselves as being joined together with all other believers. When you consider yourself in that way it should not only drive us to show grace and love to others more, but also more to ourselves. When the Bible says we need to speak the truth in love, it’s not just talking about what we say to others. It’s also talking about what we say to ourselves. We need to speak kindly to ourselves because we are a member of the body of Christ, and thus, our personal wellbeing and self-esteem affects how we play our part in the body of Christ. Speak kindly to yourself so that you can speak kindly to others and so help the body grow strong and healthy so we can serve God well.
It starts with you: take this week to work on speaking kindly to yourself and see how that affects your interactions with others.