Tag Archives: biblical communication guidelines

Be Kind and Gentle to Gain Respect

Be Kind and Gentle to Gain Respect

Be Kind and Gentle to Gain Respect

“A kind and gentle woman gains respect but violent men gain only wealth.” Proverbs 11:16 (ERV)

We must be KIND and GENTLE to gain the respect of others and win people over. When I read this verse a short time ago I thought of the mean ol’ bitty lady at the family reunion I attended recently. Actually, Eric and I had just been discussing how mean she was and how she has a negative impact on people because of it. She could have a lot more influence if she’d only be nicer and less harsh (i.e. more kind and gentle…like the verse says!). She goes on and on about the family reunion dying out and the lack of attendance as the older generations are passing away. Her continuous reprimand each year is that the young people need to take over so the family, its stories, and the reunion will live on.

However, she then proceeds to belittle the younger people and act condescending toward them lashing out constant insults. She’s bossy and harsh with her mannerisms and words. Quite honestly, she’s really just flat-out rude. Because of this, she’s turning and driving the young people away. She’s losing her influence. More than likely, she’s having the exact opposite effect of what she wants. After all, who wants to keep a family tradition of meanness, rudeness, and condescension alive?

On the other hand, if she would do as Proverbs 11:16 says showing kindness and acting more gentle, she would earn the respect of the younger generation to whom she is trying so hard to pass the reigns. They would probably bend over backwards to help out and keep the family traditions alive if only she would be kind and gentle.

A bad first impression of this less than kind and gentle lady 

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KMS…Keep Mouth Shut

KMS...Keep Mouth Shut

KMS…Keep Mouth Shut

I think the best piece of marriage advice that I’ve ever received is KMS. Honestly, it’s been some pretty good advice in a variety of settings. However, it’s probably been some of the hardest advice to actually follow. Especially for me. Those who know me well will understand.

You see, several years ago I was serving on a volunteer team at my church. My team leader, Shelli, was amazing. She was such a great leader. I really looked up to her. One day as Shelli and I were serving together she mentioned that she and her husband were celebrating 17 years of marriage (or maybe 18 or more, I can’t remember offhand). I think I was only about 10 years into my marriage at that point, and we were going through some marriage problems.

So, I asked her, “What’s the best advice you could give me on marriage?”

Shelli quickly responded, “KMS.”

“KMS?” I questioned, “What’s KMS?”

She smiled at me and said “KMS…Keep Mouth Shut.”

I laughed and said, “Oh, I can’t do that! That’s your best advice? How do you do that? What about when you know you’re right?”

She laughed and jokingly replied, “Oh, I’m ALWAYS right, but I still keep my mouth shut!”

That was such a hard concept for me to fathom. How can I possibly believe that I’m right about something and still keep my mouth shut? 

God had already told me as much

Honestly, God had already been working on me to “KMS” for some time on this one. Even still, it took a while for me to get it through my thick head. Wait a minute! What am I talking about? I STILL struggle with this one a lot. 🙂 However, it is getting a lot easier.

After my conversation with Shelli, I started noticing bible verses about this exact topic of KMS during my quiet time readings…

“The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.” Exodus 14:14 (AMP)

“In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3:1-4 (NLT)

“…So let your words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2b (NLT)

“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19 (NKJV)

“A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.” Proverbs 17:27-18 (NLT)

Did you see that? God was so nice. He started correcting me softly with phrases like “hold your peace”, “without any words”, “gentle and quiet spirit”, “few words”, “restrained lips” and “keep silent”.

I didn’t take the hint

Unfortunately, I still wasn’t taking the hint. Therefore, God got a little firmer and starting being a little more blunt about this KMS thing. Sometimes I need a good kick in the pants anyway!

Often, I like to read and study my bible in several different translations. One of my favorite things to do, as I’ve mentioned before, is read a chapter of Proverbs each day corresponding with the day of the month (since there are 31). Then, I start over again the next month reading in a different translation or version.

Several of these verses I kept reading about KMS came right out of the book of Proverbs. Can you believe that as I started reading in different translations, many of these same verses that I had already read (and had already been corrected on softly mind you) ACTUALLY had the KMS command in them! In fact, they flat-out said “keep your mouth shut” right in the verse! Who knew God could be so blunt and direct? Ouch!

KMS Verses:

KMS Bible Verses

KMS Bible Verses

“God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!” Exodus 14:14 (MSG)

“…Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.” Psalm 4:4 (MSG)

“Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” Proverbs 10:19 (NLT)

“I wish you would keep your mouths shut! Then people would think you were wise.” Job 13:5 (NIRV)

“So those who are smart keep their mouths shut, for it is an evil time.” Amos 5:13 (NLT)

“Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23 (NLT)

“Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise; as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.” Proverbs 17:28 (MSG)

“I promised I would watch my steps so as not to sin with my tongue; promised to keep my mouth shut as long as the wicked were in my presence.” Psalms 39:1 CEB

“As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God.” Ecclesiastes 5:1 (NLT)

“Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.” Proverbs 13:3 (NLT)

I finally started to get the idea

When I started reading these verses that were pretty much just in my face about the whole KMS issue, I finally started to take the correction. Boy was it humbling! I started to learn that sometimes fewer words (or no words) can speak volumes. The old cliché “silence is golden” can actually be pretty accurate.

One time God even threw in an extra analogy for me during my studies to drive His KMS point in really well. Wasn’t that nice of Him? 😉 One morning as I was sitting there studying these KMS verses about remaining silent, I had a thought cross my brain. Miranda Rights. All of a sudden these words ran through my mind, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you…” Consequently, this reminded me that I will also be held accountable for everything I say. What I say can and will be used against me. Yet another reason to KMS!

“But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.” Matthew 12:36-37 (AMP) 

Now, it’s YOUR turn to KMS!

Take Some Practical Steps to KMS…Keep Mouth Shut:

  • First, read over the bible verses about KMS. There are LOTS of them! God probably deems this as a pretty important concept if the bible repeats it that much. There are some really good insights in these verses, and you can see some benefits of keeping your mouth shut. For example, when you KMS, God will fight for you, you appear more intelligent and wise, you stay out of trouble, you win people over, and you can keep yourself from sinning.
  • Next, pick a verse or two that stands out to you, write them on index cards and post them where you can see them daily as a reminder to KMS. Consider memorizing them.
  • Additionally, you might even turn some verses into a positive affirmation. For example, you could say, “God will fight for me. I will hold my peace and remain at rest.” Another affirmation might be, “I watch my tongue, keep my mouth shut, and stay out of trouble.”
  • Pray, and ask for God’s help to KMS. I try to make this a daily routine. A helpful verse to pray is Psalm 141:3. This is another verse I have written on an index card and posted on my bathroom sink so that I see it every morning.

“Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3 (NIV)

Has God encouraged you to KMS in your relationships? How has KMS (keeping your mouth shut) been effective for you? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, disrespectful, sarcastic, offensive, or off-topic.  By posting on this site you agree to my Comment Policy.

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If you know anyone that could benefit from this, please pay it forward!  Share this post via the sharing links below.  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV) 

Prayer for When You’re Verbally Attacked

Prayer for When You’re Verbally Attacked

Prayer for When You’re Verbally Attacked

Do you ever just feel attacked?  Sometimes it can seem relentless!  I think it’s high time that we just get fed up with being attacked and start doing something about it!  Recently I wrote a post for scriptures to help when you feel attacked or persecuted.  These scriptures are helpful and comforting to let us know that we’re not alone, that God is our avenger, and that we will be blessed and graced when enduring persecution.  Today I’d like to go on the offensive a little more.  I’d like to give you a prayer that you can pray when you feel like you’re being verbally attacked by people. 

 

I do believe there is a time and a place to endure attacks, but I also firmly believe that God never intended for us to be doormats to be walked on by people.  When we’re being verbally attacked, there ARE times when it’s okay to fight back…just not always in the way your natural instincts might want to! 😉  It’s okay to go to war.  We don’t have to hide until Jesus comes.  We don’t have to be wimpy, spineless, victimized Christians!  We don’t always need to head for cover when we’re verbally attacked by people.

We need to be fighters!

We need to be warriors!

We need to be strong and put on the full armor of God to stand up to the devil and his schemes and strategies!

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)

During a bible study in college, Continue reading

Adults Can Be Bullies Too

Adults Can Be Bullies Too

Adults Can Be Bullies Too

I’m going to tell on myself this week. 🙂 I had a lesson in dealing with adult bullies and therefore had the opportunity to show my kids a real-life example of how to deal with bullies.  We’ve talked recently about responding to people who offend you and scriptures to help when you feel attacked or persecuted.  Sometimes the best way to respond is not to respond.  However, there are times when a response is helpful and/or necessary.  I felt like I encountered one of those times this past week.

I had an altercation in the parking lot at my son’s school this past week, but it didn’t start there.  To give you some background, there has been a lady that has caused a variety of problems all school year.  In my opinion, she is an adult bully.  I had never talked to her (and honestly didn’t even know her) up until this point.  We see her almost every morning at school drop-off, and we always notice her.

There are a few reasons she stands out.  One reason is that every morning she has a dog that sits in the front seat of the car and barks incessantly with an ear-piercing sound with its head sticking out of the open window.  We can actually hear it while we are driving down the road, even though our windows are up!  She’s also very noticeable because she has driven pretty erratically on occasion—or as my kids would say, “She’s a crazy driver!”  Frequently, she does not follow the school’s drop-off procedure to only drop your kids off at a certain, designated location (so as not to block traffic).  Each morning she instead ignores this sometimes inconvenient procedure, and she drops her kids off at the front door which holds up and blocks traffic behind her prohibiting anyone else from being able to pull in to drop their kids off until she moves out of the way.

Last, but not least, she stands out because she has been known on SEVERAL occasions to honk at drivers in front of her, myself included.  There is a particular route to school that has an intersection where it is extremely difficult to make a left-hand turn during the busy morning traffic.  If she has to wait too long at that intersection she starts honking.  Last week was no different.  I was at the intersection attempting to turn left.  She was in the car directly behind me (I knew because I heard the barking dog!).  Due to the high volume of traffic, I was having a difficult time turning left.

One thing you should also know about me is that I’m a “better safe than sorry” kind of person when driving, especially if I have my kids in the car.  I know this probably irritates some people because I don’t get in a hurry—to me it’s not worth the risk.  I guess to this lady it is worth the risk, because she started honking in a series of small honks at first.  She also kept moving forward acting as if she would hit me with her car if I didn’t hurry up and go.  Then, she proceeded to lay on the horn with a nonstop blast when I refused to rush in front of an oncoming school bus that had briefly stopped at a railroad crossing.  I was getting a bit flustered at this point.  I rolled my window down and waived my hand backward as if to say “stop it!”, and I pulled out after the school bus had passed.  I shook my index finger out the window as I drove on.  You know…kind of a “shame on you” type of move.

I decided right then that I was not going to put up with her bullying any more.  Continue reading

Scriptures to help when you feel attacked or persecuted …

Scriptures to help when you feel attacked or persecuted …

Scriptures to help when you feel attacked or persecuted…

Last week I shared how to respond when people offend you.  I discussed recent incidents of feeling a tad bit persecuted, and how I’ve decided to react when it happens.  On many occasions I’ve had to fight the urge to fight back!  Even though we know the right way to respond (or NOT respond), it’s still hard sometimes to deal with the attacks.  In light of that, this week I’ve put together a list of scriptures that can be helpful and encouraging when you feel you are being attacked or persecuted.  It’s helpful to know that we’re not alone and that God has given us some encouragement and direction on this topic.

Persecution is a term we can relate to being treated differently in a negative context.  To persecute is to pursue with harassing or oppressive treatment; to harass persistently; or to annoy or trouble persistently.  The Bible is chock-full of stories where Christians were persecuted.  In the Old Testament, Noah was criticized and thought of as crazy for building an ark, the Hebrews were oppressed and made as slaves in Egypt before their exodus with Moses, Joseph was harassed by his brothers, and there are countless other stories in the Old Testament.  Throughout much of the New Testament, Christians everywhere were persecuted, even (and especially) Jesus Christ, Himself.

Present-day Christians encounter persecution of all kinds…even death.  It’s both humbling and easier to bear being picked on, attacked, insulted, and persecuted when we know that across the world there are others suffering much, much worse.   

Why do you think Christians are persecuted—what’s the cause?

It’s often hard not to ask the question “why me?” when we are being treated differently, being persecuted or just being left out, but the bible reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that trials (persecution included) are common to man—meaning that they happen to us all.  1 Peter 4:12-29 also tells us not to be surprised when trials come against us as if it’s strange, like it shouldn’t be happening.  There are times when we will share in some of Christ’s sufferings.  However, Romans 8:18 reminds us that even though we might experience suffering in the present, it will not even compare to the glory that will be revealed to us later.  If we are ever persecuted for being a Christian or living right, God will make it right someday—He’s got our backs.  God is our avenger.  We just have to remember that things aren’t always peachy just because we are Christians.

Like I briefly mentioned in the last post, we might even consider it a compliment that the devil thinks of us as enough of a threat that he has to mess with us!  That must mean we’re doing something right!  The devil comes against us (or uses other people or circumstances to come against us) because we look like God (Genesis 5:1 says man is made in God’s own image).  The devil can’t get to God so he comes after us.  A good thing to remember is this—that if you’re not pleasing God, you’re pleasing the devil; and if you’re pleasing the devil, you’re not pleasing God.  We should seek to please God by being the people He calls us to be—by being different from the world.  It is better to be a God-pleaser than a people-pleaser, world-pleaser or devil-pleaser!!  A very sweet reader sent me an encouraging e-mail last week saying, “Praise God for people like you who stand up to Satan’s “temper tantrum”.”  I loved that!  I hope these verses will be an encouragement to you too to stand up to Satan’s temper tantrums!

Scriptures to help when you feel attacked or persecuted…

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How to Respond to Comments…especially in touchy situations

How to Respond to Comments…especially in touchy situations

How to Respond to Comments…especially in touchy situations

Last week I mentioned the increasing amount of negative comments I’ve been receiving on my blog lately.  I guess that comes with the territory of “putting myself out there” in a public format.  I’ve had to learn how to avoid making negative comments even when that might be my first reaction.  I’m still a work in progress.  However, I have somewhat of a system now on exactly how to respond to comments, negative or not.  I’d like to share it with you because you might also find it useful when deciding how you should reply to people.

At times deciding how to respond to comments can be nerve-wracking even when the comments aren’t negative.  Sometimes people are hurting and ask hard questions.  Lately, I’ve received numerous comments on a previous post, “How to Overcome Feeling Unloved or Unwanted”.  Sadly, this post is one of the most popular posts on my website.  I say “sadly” because it makes me so sad to know that so many people feel unloved and unwanted.  Then again, maybe that’s exactly why God had me write it and why He directs so many people to that page.  It also makes me very sad when I get some of the comments of people still looking for answers because I can almost feel their hurt and pain in their writing.  Then, I feel a little scared and overwhelmed knowing that I have to reply to these hurting people to try and give them some answers, encouragement, and hope.  It’s a lot of pressure!  I actually said to God, “What if I mess them up!?”  I honestly feel so completely unqualified at times to help people.  In fact, I’ve talked before about making excuses like this with God.  They never work.  He just tells me to follow his lead and he will instruct me in what to say (Exodus 4:12).

Usually God tells me to just speak what I know from my own experiences and from what God has taught me.  If it worked for me maybe it will work for others too!  I have a little system or process that I use now to help me determine how to respond to comments.  By the way, I totally swiped this process from my sister.  It’s now my go-to protocol.  This process is good not only for replying to negative comments or to people who need help but really in any situation in which a careful response might be necessary.  It’s something that might be helpful when responding to a criticism on social media, writing to a child’s teacher, addressing an issue with a customer/client or employer, drafting a concern or complaint to a company, or even when making an application for employment or scholarship.  There are so many situations where you might find this process beneficial!  This is especially important if you are formulating written responses because these are forever documented in writing and can come back to haunt you if not handled appropriately or correctly.

Take Some Practical Steps to Decide How to Respond to Comments or to Develop a Careful Message:  Continue reading

Funny Friday: Love Your Enemies

Funny Friday: Love Your Enemies

I follow Jon Jorgenson, The Anima Series, on YouTube.  I love his videos!  I recently received one of his videos that fits right in with our current topic about handling negative comments (especially online).  His video here (click here to access video directly on YouTube) is a funny way to deal with internet hate by using some examples of “love your enemies”. 🙂

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” Matthew 5:44 (NIV)

How to Avoid Making Negative Comments

Learn some steps to avoid the trap of making negative comments.

How to Avoid Making Negative Comments

I’ve been getting a lot more comments posted to some of my blog articles lately.  Unfortunately not all of them are very nice.  Sometimes it’s hard not to take things personally.  I had been getting so many negative comments in such a short time frame lately that when I would get an e-mail informing me that I had a new comment to moderate I would moan and hang my head in dread of what I was about to read.

A couple weekends ago, I was at my sister’s house, and my e-mail chimed alerting me of a new comment.  “Not again.” I groaned.  “What’s wrong?” my sister asked.  “I’ve got another comment to moderate.  I’m afraid to look at it.” I said.  “Here, let me read it first,” she suggested.  I handed her my phone.  Thankfully she smiled as she read it and said, “It’s a good one.”  I breathed a sigh of relief.  Fortunately, I have received a number of positive and encouraging comments too.  Why is it that the bad ones seem to overpower the good?  It’s no wonder Paul urges us to keep our focus on positive and good things.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

Focusing on the negative will only bring us down.  It will cause us anxiety and worry (Philippians 4:6), and it could even cause us to get so worked up that we might act out in our emotions and say or do things that we regret.  I think that’s probably what happens when people post nasty things or negative comments on my site.  They probably read something that they disagreed with or that maybe offended them, and then they acted out of their emotion.

Unfortunately, technology these days has cultivated an environment where it is easy for people to be passive-aggressive. People say things online or via technology that they would never say to someone face-to-face. In light of that, Continue reading