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Have you noticed how hard it is to have a conversation when people disagree? Whether in person or on social media, people quickly lose their temper and fling hurtful words at each other. Sometimes they even stir up trouble to get others fired or censured. The word used now to describe this is cancelled. We have become quarrelsome. People lash out with a whip made of words in an attempt to subdue their opponents!
The apostle Paul understood this temptation. He wrote to a church that needed a lot of correction. In 1 Corinthians 4:21 he asked, “What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?”(NIV) I know what I’d prefer! I want to deal with people who have the gentle spirit! Whips don’t feel good!
Paul actually did not use a whip. In 2 Corinthians 10:1, Paul said he appealed to them with “the meekness and gentleness of Christ.”(NIV) He knew how to approach people who needed correction. This helps us understand what it means to be gentle or meek. It is the opposite of being harsh with others. It involves appealing to them in humility. Our approach must be soothing, not irritating. Today, check any temptation you have to whip others with words and appeal to them with the gentleness of Jesus.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.