‘Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult… The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.’ Proverbs 12.16 and 18
We can all be involved in healing this Christmas! Christmas is a time when many of us are in the company of others, either at church or with family and friends, and this verse says that whenever we are with other people, we have the opportunity to pierce them or to bring healing.
It seems to come down to attitude. Do you normally react quickly to what is spoken to you? Perhaps you find yourself frustrated by people’s comments and respond a little sharply? Or would you say you are generally able to hold your tongue, speak a soothing word, encourage others and build them up?
When Matthew reflected on the ministry of Jesus, he said: ‘A bruised reed he will not break’ (Matthew 12.20). In other words, Jesus seemed able to recognise that all people were bruised in some way, and perhaps this is why they could be hesitant, sinful and weak. He seldom seemed to criticise people for being as they were; he loved them and sought to bring something of God to them.
This Boxing Day, as you mingle with other people you will come up against some bruised and hurting folk and what will make all the difference is your attitude to them – using your tongue to bring comfort and encouragement, just like Jesus was with people.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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