Daily D – Proverbs 25:15
Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones. PROVERBS 25:15 (NLT)
Patient persistence pierces through indifference; gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.
We are in the season of shouting. Watching college football and Major League Baseball yesterday exposed us to far too many political ads. Tough Guys and Mean Girls stare at the camera and attempt to persuade us with their fight, Fight, FIGHT messaging.
There is one candidate whose messages are different. She is kind and gentle and speaks with sincerity and calm. I don’t think I am eligible to vote for her, but I would if I could.
In a day where everyone shouts, it is the person who speaks softly and confidently with patient endurance who is most persuasive.
This principle works in many different situations. Husbands and wives who experience disagreements recover unity and harmony much more quickly when they choose soft speech. Parents and children more quickly move in the same direction when gentleness and kindness rule our words and actions.
Chase a puppy and he runs away. Get down on his level and he will run to you. You can hold a puppy and pet him and make him feel loved all while saying all manner of evil things to him if you do it in a soft voice. He will not know the words, but he will enjoy the tone.
Patience and kindness are two of our greatest tools for cohabitation and collaboration. They make cooperation possible. No wonder the Apostle Paul used these two attributes a the head of his description of love in 1 Corinthians 13. “Love is patient and kind,” (v. 4).
Shouts and angry expressions put people on the defensive. Fight or flight adrenaline bursts prevent clear thinking and responsible action. No one gets anywhere fast when the shouting starts.
Loud voices are often used in an attempt to control others. Sometimes they gain attention but seldom do they persuade. Thoughtful expressions spoken with patience and kindness bridge gaps and make unity possible.
You can persuade your prince or princess today with kind and gentle expression. If something is truly, painfully wrong, you can begin the healing process with soft speech and patient endurance.
I will speak the truth in love softly and tenderly.
Our Father, you have given me a powerful voice. However, I often choose to shout when I should shrink into softer, gentler communication. Build patience and kindness into my life. May it be demonstrated in what I say and how I say it. Make me gently persuasive. Amen.
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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.