March 14th 2013
“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3
The coupling of these two virtues, kindness and truth, is no accident. Like any great partnership, they complete one another. Oxygen by itself can be deadly, as can hydrogen. Put them together in the right combination and you create the substance that gives humans life. How many of us have met kind people, but they lack the courage to be truthful? In fact, their kindness enables unhealthy behavior. Conversely, how many of us have met blunt, direct, obtuse people whose words wound and injure? Kindness and truth, bound together, written side by side on our hearts, can create a balance that brings healing and wholeness.
We live in a world of lies. Politicians lie to get elected, executives lie to employees to get better profits, accountants manipulate balance sheets to deceive shareholders, advertisers lie to consumers to get their money, and we lie to ourselves...for all kinds of reasons. We become masters at justifying our choices, convincing ourselves that it’s someone else’s job to speak the truth. Our world desperately needs people who will bring truth, in the spirit of kindness, to their places of work, their relationships, and to their churches.
Is there someone you have wronged? Have you set it right? Is there a moral failing you’ve been hiding? First, talk this over with God in brutal honesty. Then, open up to one other person—a trusted counselor, pastor, or fellow believer. Take the courageous action of confessing. (The Promise Effect, p. 52)
Lord, build me up on both sides: truth and love. Give me the courage to speak the truth. Give me the compassion to do so in kindness.