Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men's souls, and a beautiful image it is.
- Blaise Pascal
Just as I began to create this post an ad for one of the politicians running for president flashed across the television. I did not say a kind word to him. In fact, the words I said were quite unkind. True, he couldn't hear me, but I heard me. I heard the disgust in my voice, the underlying frustration in my tone. I felt them blister on my tongue and lips. What is the true cost of my stinging words, even uttered alone in a room, against another human being? They may not harm this politician, but they tear at my own soul.
Kind words don't cost much - harsh words cost plenty. They can destroy friendships, marriages, churches and nations. A war of words has a high price tag. It causes agitation, irritation, anger, and often results in real war - humans battling one another because of something another person said. Gossip is pricey - kind words don't cost much.
Jesus tells us it's not what goes into our mouth that defiles us, but what comes out of it (Matthew 15:11). If words of anger, irritation or hatred come from our lips, that is surely what is in our heart. My words to the politician reveal my own irritation and anger in my heart. My words tell more about me than they do about that politician. My words mean I need to work more on me - allowing God to soften my own heart. It says nothing about the politician.
Today, resolve to speak kind words. They don't cost much, so spend freely. Speak kindly, even of those who irritate or anger you. Create beautiful images in the hearts and minds of others. Utter words of compassion, understanding, grace, mercy and love - even if you're all alone. Give over to God any words of anger or irritation that come from your heart.
If you have prayers or praises to share, please do so in the comments.