It has likely taken me way too long to understand kindness and the power of beautiful words.
From the time that I was a little girl I firmly believed in the power of truth. I thought that truth was always right and just and fair. Through my devoutness to truth, ironically, I came to believe some damaging lies.
I believed it was okay to speak unkindly about somebody because they had treated me unfairly. After all, they had been mean, that was the truth. How could it be wrong to say unkind things about them to others? I believed it was okay to judge another by assumptions and stereotypes that I assigned to them. I believed it was okay to tell myself that certain physical features on myself or other people were ugly. It was the truth, in my mind, so why couldn’t I say it and why shouldn’t I believe it? I believed it was okay to spread gossip. If it was the truth it couldn’t really be gossip could it?
These were the lies I believed that I had disguised, to myself, as truth.
One day, not that long ago actually, I heard somebody say “If your physical beauty were dependent on the kindness of your words would you still be beautiful?“.
Boy, was that a slap in the face. I reflected on all of the “truth” I had been speaking and it was not beautiful and it was not kind. My words were ugly and spiteful. It had been so easy to support my anger and my damaging feelings with what I thought was truth. I had tricked myself into fulling believing that my actions weren’t wrong, how scary.
Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking truth in love, we will grow in every respect the mature body of him- Christ”.
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”.
Truth in love. That’s where I was going so terribly off track. I was creating my own “truth” that went against the very definition of what truth is. I thought I could support my own sinfulness, that I found the loophole for kindness. Unfortunately, or rather- fortunately, there is no loophole for kindness. Kindness is necessary for building others up, it is a requirement for being a part of the body of Christ.
I’m sure this goes without saying but this is still an intense struggle for me today. Some of my friends endearingly call me “blunt”, a realist, a tell-it-like-it-is kind of girl. This is not who I want to be. I will always treasure truth but I am learning to understand it in its real form. I don’t mean that I intend to sugarcoat things or live with blind optimism either; those also have their flaws. Instead I want to focus on what is necessary for building others up. I want to realize where truth ends and sin begins. Because truth is always right and just and fair because the truth is Jesus; it began and endures as Him.
So I challenge you, as I equally challenge myself, to speak beautiful words.