I am so tired of one-size-fits all, stale, pat answers and blanket statements that sound empty even to my own ears.
Aren’t we, as Christians, called to model our lives after Jesus? Then shouldn’t we strive to do that in our daily relationships and conversations?
A quick observation of the gospels shows how He spoke to Martha differently than He spoke to Mary. Which was different from how He spoke to the woman at the well. He addressed the rich young ruler, the Pharisees, Nicodemus, the Canaanite woman, Zacchaeus all differently. He did not hesitate to talk to “tax collectors and notorious sinners” (Luke 15:1, NLT)
What was His secret? Simple, He treated each individual with respect. He saw everyone as unique, valued, worthy of His attention. He knew each one longed to be treated as such. Not another face in the crowd, not dispensable. He realized each had distinctive life experiences and needs. One-size-fits all was not in His nature!
He never wasted words, always getting to the heart of the matter.Then, as now, we tend to mask our real issues. His encounter with the ‘woman at the well’ is an excellent blueprint. Gently peeling back the layers of her life to minister to her deepest need. (see John 4)
His words could be very direct but never brutal, always intent on bringing healing, restoration, and truth; Always filled with compassion and love. He wept at Lazarus’ tomb and over Jerusalem and its hypocrisy. The truth may hurt but never bring lasting harm.
I long to converse and connect as Jesus did!
An aptly spoken word is like apples of gold in settings of silver, Proverbs 25:11, is my prayer!
Lord, grant wisdom and discernment to speak appropriately! To treat everyone I encounter with respect, realizing how much You love them! Everyone is redeemable, no one is beyond your ability to restore! May my words have and give value! As I speak God’s truth with love and compassion, may my words encourage and give hope! May conversations point others to you and bestow beauty, life and peace! Help the broken, the hurting, the questioning, the lost receive The Word! Amen!
We can love and help our neighbors, we can impact our sphere of influence and the world simply with our words. Jesus did. Go and do likewise!
Jodi Davis Lybrand is a lifelong resident of Shelby County. She is married and has raised two wonderful sons, has a beautiful daughter-in-law and 4 of the most adorable grandchildren ever!
Her favorites include playing with those awesome grand sweeties, enjoying long walks and sunsets, visiting with friends, old and new, painting and working on her bucket list!
A Bible teacher for 30 years, teaching preschool to senior adults (before she was one!) Jodi jests that she can teach you a Bible lesson in sixty seconds or sixty minutes! Most of all she loves to encourage people through the truths found in God’s holy word.