I am happy to say that I have a large number of friends. I am also happy to say that I know this group will grow. I'm not talking about Facebook, just in case you went there mentally.
I am lucky. I am lucky to have been surrounded by friendly people, but more than that, I am lucky that God blessed me with a friendly personality.
Even among my friends, however, I see how quickly kindness can take a backseat. It can be just as gone as it ever was present. And I don't believe that kindness should be connected to a switch. It shouldn't be reserved for certain people in your life. If it is ever to be reserved, it should be for everyone because everyone, and I do mean everyone, needs a little kindness in their lives.
I have friends who may be reading this (though most likely not, but regardless, it does apply to them), who are definitely saying, "Here! Here!" But some of them are whom I am referencing.
We live in such a state of offense. What's funny is that we get offended not by what someone says, but by who it is that is saying it. Our reservations for agreement revolve around only a few. It is sad and it is a sickness. That we cannot be kind. And being kind doesn't simply mean acting kindly or saying nice words. Sometimes it just means not giving a cross look or keeping your mouth shut when the person is around.
We do get offended, and many times for good reason. People are offensive. Oddly enough, you fall under that same category since you're human.
We can be brutal with our words and actions, but it doesn't mean that we should be.
I think the absence of you saying compliments or showing kindness is a sign of insecurity. Your first words, rather than something uplifting or encouraging, are used to defend your kingdom, as if you are under attack. Other people's success shouldn't come across as a personal attack. You should be bigger than that. Wiser than that. More secure than that.
It is nothing to keep from striking someone. But opening your mouth and cutting at someone is simple.
James 3:2-8 says this:
2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Full of deadly poison, and yet we continue to spout out all types of lies, deceit, disparaging remarks, insults, and more toward each other. And for what? Does it get our point across? No, it doesn't. Does it make us feel better? It honestly may. There may be a release of frustration and anger, but that is simply a temporary and selfish reason.
And can you believe that? Control the tongue and you are a perfect man. You are able to control your whole body.
Look at yourself today and ask if your words are helping someone. Are they healing someone? Are they encouraging someone?
Are your children being strengthened? Are you empowering them with your words?
Proverbs 18:21 says that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and those who love it will eat its fruit."
What fruit will you be eating? You will eat the same fruit you have been serving.
So today, begin speaking kindly or stop talking altogether. If your insecurity binds you, then pray that God will breaks those bonds. Gather some confidence in who you are and who you are in Jesus. You are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37).
Starting now, let's take that grow up pill, relinquish our grudges, turn from our wickedness, and start utilizing our tongues for building people up and showing others how to be kind (and for making out).