Communicating with grace
Proverbs 25:11-12 The Message
11-12 The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, And a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.
As a leader, my desire is not to just communicate the truth, or to state the facts, or to win an argument.
To be right does not give me the right to speak!
To love sincerely; this gives us the right to speak to someone and the truth or facts can then be communicated in a right spirit that can co-operate with what the Holy Spirit is already doing in the heart of the person we are communicating with. A harsh or hasty word could actually grieve or quench the work of the Lord in a precious soul.
I love the scripture that Jesus quotes when the religious Pharisees are judging him for healing on the wrong day!
Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench.
Jesus was quoting from Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed will he not break, and a dimly burning wick will he not quench: he will bring forth justice in truth.
This speaks to me of the heart of grace that the Father carries towards each one of us. He knows that a barely smoking wick needs only the gentlest of breaths to bring it back into life. He also understands that a bruised soul will easily break if not handled with the utmost care.
During my life time, I have experienced this loving, restoring heart of God many times and when I am dealing with people, I try to remember these times so that my own words are tempered with the same caring heart that has brought me back from the brink so many times. I don’t always get this right!
It is so easy to see a person’s mistakes or bad choices and then state the obvious from what we have observed. The Father always looks a lot deeper than the surface into the real condition of the soul. He moves with gentleness and grace, not to excuse sin, but to enable the soul to respond and repent. It’s a lot easier to say sorry to someone who has already forgiven us, than it is to a stern face and heavy frown.
The bible teaches us that mercy always triumphs over judgement. As a church we are especially called to minister to the broken, rejected and needy people. Let us bend down with gentleness and wash their feet with our tears of compassion and we will see the bruised being healed and the barely alive bursting back to full life.
It is music to my ears when I hear how the love of the Hub Church community deeply affects those the Lord is bringing among us, and when their testimony is that the love they found among us brought them into the heart of Jesus.