A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1 (NKJV)
Why are we so mean?? How often do you say or do something only because you feel provoked? According to Dr. Monica A. Frank, Clinical and Sport Psychologist,
"...most people are mean due to some flaw in themselves or distortion in their thinking. Usually, unless you have done something significant, it is not about you." So what would happen if we tried something different?
It’s time for a moult. I’m shedding a skin, ready to be a little different than I was before. I don’t want to be so mean. I don’t like how it sounds coming out of me, I don’t like how it feels coming at me. I’m finding soft words.
As the mother of two (okay, one and a half) teen-agers, I know harsh words and the ruin left in their wake. I’ve tried a number of analogies, e.g., nails in a piece of wood and the scars they leave, pin pricks in a balloon unseen but no less damaging, I try to model the right behavior, but I’m not always good at living the lesson. It’s time for a moult, I’m going to choose to find soft words, or else.
Just this morning, Pinky and the Brain (one of my many nicknames for my beautiful babies) were sniping at each other in the car. I’d just read Proverbs 15:1, and decided to practice what I intended to preach. We talked about it, I had Pinky read the NIV translation, just to be clear, and we talked about what that might look like. I’m challenging myself to find the soft words, or the quiet, not just today but long enough for it to become a habit.
I don’t like the harsh sound of my own voice, and if I don’t like being on the receiving end of unkindness, I certainly should not be dishing it out. I don’t deserve to be treated that way, and if I don’t, why should anybody else?
A dear friend signs every email with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “be the change you want to see in the world.” I’m taking her, and his advice. I’m finding soft words. It’s easy to pick a fight. It’s harder to choose not to…you see, you always have a choice.
I choose Grace. I choose soft words. Reading further into Proverbs 15 (Proverbs 15:13 NKJV) I find the payoff, not that I really needed it. You see, “a merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. “ Had I to meet my judgment now, I choose cheery countenances. Do you want to explain a string of broken spirits? Go right ahead.
I’m choosing Grace, and am thankful for the choice. I’m thankful that no matter my circumstances, I am blessed with an abundance of good things to choose. That abundance is my reminder that God is Good.
Today’s Feast: Spreadable Butter
Back story-I love soft butter that doesn’t destroy what I’m spreading it on…gentle, like soft words. I also like saving money. So, when I came across a process for making spreadable butter that takes only 10 minutes and saves money since I already buy sticks of butter and extra virgin olive oil and no longer need to make the additional purchase.
2 sticks butter, room temperature (I buy in bulk at Costco and store it in the freezer)
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
Whip the oil and butter in a chilled bowl until creamy and light in color. Spoon it into a resealable container and keep in your fridge.