November 18, 2007
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11-12
Try as we might, sometimes we just aren't considerate of other people's feelings.
Recently, a man who works in the personnel department at a large, but downsizing, company in St. Louis, was saddled with the tough job of telling some perfectly good employees they no longer had a job.
He spent days rehearsing the easiest way to break the terrible news.
Finally, he decided on a sentence that he felt might work. He called each one of them into his office and, as sincerely as possible said this: "Mr. Schmidt, I just don't know how our company is ever going to get along without you, but starting a month from next Monday we're going to have to try."
No one likes to be fired. But if it has to happen, I want to be fired by a man who uses words that are gentle and considerate of how I feel.
Being considerate. That's something that all of us need to learn. Our words have power, and we need to be careful how we use them. As Christians following the Savior who, even from an unjust cross spoke words of love, we need to realize that a hard look and a harsh word on the job can be devastating to our fellow workers. At home, cruel tones and disregard for personal feelings can leave lasting scars.
That's why I deeply encourage you to try to use gentle words—words that build up, rather than tear down. Let’s use words that reflect kindly on the Savior who spoke so kindly to us.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Savior, You want us to treat others with gentleness and love, but sometimes we just aren't considerate of other people's feelings. Please fill me with Your wisdom and gentleness, so that my words will build up, rather than tear down. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries