I remember my grandmother, Mary, saying, “If you can say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Why? I would ask myself. They were mean to me. They hurt me. They judged me. They, they, they. I was solely focused on everyone else.
Scripture tells us to first examine ourselves before we judge others. How can we stop the overflowing of hurtful words and painful actions? Proverbs 15:4 says, “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 16:24 reminds us that “Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Others may hurt you, but you have the power to change that hurt into compassion, for no happy, loving person would want to hurt another. Hurt people hurt. When we are hurt, what can we do to show compassion? Maybe we can send kind words out—in a prayer, in a whisper, or out loud.
Yes, I know this isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it’s worth the effort. Each time an individual takes the time to show kindness where there is hurt, we move toward a better community. And it starts with us.