Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Law of Kindness

I have been mulling over something for a while.  Chewing on it – trying to really let the Lord teach me what it means.  I don’t have it completely figured out yet, but He is making me aware of it’s truth in my daily circumstances.

Elaine's new pink coatOf all the virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman, I think I struggle with this one the most.  Proverbs 31:26 says, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”  More and more I have been becoming aware of the fact that my tongue does not always speak kindness.  Whether it is my actual words, my tone of voice, or the attitude and thrust behind what I say, I need to have more kindness to those whom I am addressing.

As I was meditating on this I started to think about that word law.  What is a law?  The first thing that came to my mind was the speed limit law.  It is easily, and frequently, broken by many.  Is a law really something that can be so easily disregarded?  Next I thought about laws of physics, science, and mathematics.  We call it the law of gravity.  It is something that is always true – consistent, dependable. You can’t just decide to disregard the law of gravity.  Because it is always in effect.

I looked up the word law in the dictionary.  Here are some of the facets of this word:

  • A binding custom or practice
  • A rule of conduct or action
  • A statement of an order or relation of phenomena that so far as is known is invariable under the given conditions

The Hebrew word for law is hr'To and it comes from the root word which means to throw.  According to TWOT {Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament}, “The word tora means basically ‘teaching’ whether it is the wise man instructing his son or God instructing Israel.” (Volume 1, page 404, word 910d).

So what does all of this have to do with my tongue?  If, as a virtuous woman, I am to have the law of kindness in the words I speak, then it must be something that is invariably true.  Kindness must be the major characteristic that others can expect every time I open my mouth to share something.  It must be a law – binding, rule of conduct, invariable under the given conditions.

I find that my tongue varies from kindness most easily in stressful situations.  I get frazzled, frustrated, or overwhelmed, and I lash out with my words.  Maybe I just speak too hurried and rudely.  Maybe I tell my little girl to be quiet and leave me alone.  Sometimes I vary from kindness when I myself have been hurt.  I want to make someone else feel the pain that I am experiencing, so I make unkind and untrue, or even exaggerated accusations.  An exaggeration is something that is not completely true, and that is not kind. Even under these conditions, my words must be invariably kind.  The circumstances don’t change the law.  It is consistent.

And if I am always speaking that which is kind, it will have an effect on others.  It will teach them how to be kind themselves.  Just like the word tora – I can be a wise woman instructing others.  That goes back to the beginning of our verse: she openeth her mouth with wisdom.  I want my children to learn the law of kindness.  And they will catch it best by watching me live it out.

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” {Ephesians 4:32}

1 comment:

Becky said...

I just finished studying the Proverbs 31 woman for our anniversary through Revive Our Hearts (Its one of their older podcasts) I think you did a great job here of describing exactly what this verse boils down to. If we are all honest we all struggle with our tongues, what to say and what not to say :/ Thanks for the reminder :)