“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.“
Proverbs 15:1 NIV
I remember her words like it was yesterday. “I don’t mean to interrupt you, but the correct answer is _________.”
At first, my young friend’s words caught me off guard. Was she trying to put me in my place I wondered? I thought about the tender tone of her voice and realized her words weren’t angry—they were prompted by love and spoken in humility. She wasn’t trying to one-up me; she was trying to help me. Her words didn’t condemn me for my slip up—they gently pointed me towards the truth.
My friend’s gentle reprimand reminds me of Paul’s words in Galatians 6:1: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness…” In this verse, Paul, the author of Galatians, reminds us to not come down too hard on our brothers (and sisters) when they’ve strayed from the right path but to tenderly point them back towards the truth with love, humility, and kindness.
Being reprimanded is never easy, but when it’s done in a spirit of gentleness it’s easier to receive. Harsh and condemning words can be perceived as judgmental. When correcting each other, it’s important to keep in mind that we all fall short, not one of us is better than the other. Our words should be prompted by love, spoken in humility and said in a way that encourages others to grow and blossom.
Do you have a friend who gently holds you accountable? Praise God! The gentle reprimand of a friend is worth more than a thousand worldly treasures! We need people in our lives who will be honest with us and kindly point out when we’re in the wrong. And we need those who love us enough to come alongside us and guide us back towards the truth; people willing to encourage and strengthen us to live a Christ-centered life.
It’s not easy to be corrected by a friend, but we’ll be richer for it in the long run.
Lord, I praise you for your wisdom and amazing ways. Help me to humbly accept correction from those you have placed in my life. Help me to see their gentle reprimands as treasures to behold. Lord, I thank you for the gift of friendship. Thank you for placing people in my life who are willing to hold me accountable and help me grow. In Jesus’ name Amen!
The gentle reprimand of a friend is worth more than a thousand worldly treasures! —Tweet this!
Did I enjoy being corrected by my friend? No. But I’m thankful she cared enough to gently point out my mistake. Can you imagine what might have happened if my friend hadn’t spoken up? I might have gone around giving everyone the wrong information. If you think about it, she saved me from looking foolish!
Have you ever refrained from telling a friend she was in the wrong? Why do you think we hold back from correcting our friends when we know they are in the wrong or caught in a transgression (sin) of some kind?
Thank you for joining me. I’m excited to jump into God’s word with you and study the Fruit of Gentleness! This article is a part of our current series, Sweet Smelling Fruit—Cultivating a Heart that Lives by the Spirit. Right now we are taking a closer look at #Gentleness.
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