TCM Devotions: Gentle Answer or Harsh Response?

“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.” Galatians 6:1 (CEV)

What is it that makes us want to snap at people? Is it because we think they should have known better and they’re being incompetent? That they don’t care about anyone other than themselves because they’re selfish? Or simply because they got in our way and now we’re held back?

Our own pride can make us think we are on the moral high ground and our offenders are on the low ground, and because they are beneath us, we have the right of way to respond as we see fit.

But when we know that we are in the wrong, which is preferable: a gentle answer or a harsh response?

When has someone effectively corrected you, and you were the better for it? How did they do it? And then: In which specific situations can you ask the Holy Spirit to help you respond to others in gentleness, especially when you see them stuck in harmful behaviour?

TCM Devotions: Listening Before Speaking

Verse: James 1: 19-20
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

It’s really difficult to listen and think clearly when we are angry or when we are eager to speak. It can often cause us to not fully understand what people are trying to tell us because we are only thinking about what is making us angry or what we are about to say next. In many cases, it is when we are able to listen to the person we are talking to and stay calm that we are able to learn the most. In the same way, sometimes when we blame people around us, or blame God, for our troubles we end up missing out on how God is trying to guide us through those circumstances. Our quickness to speak and quickness to be angry blurs our ability to listen and receive from God. But if we are quicker to listen, and to receive, we can be more in tune to what God is trying to tell us.

How does listening reflect gentleness and show love to people around us? Are you open to hearing God speak in any situation?