Day Thirty-Seven: Sometimes Love Is What You Don’t Say

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 12, 2018

Day Thirty-Seven: Sometimes Love Is What You Don’t Say

Proverbs 15:4, “Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit.”

We should always be truthful, but never at the cost of being rude or inconsiderate of other people’s feelings. Rudeness is selfish and prideful. Being overly critical and blunt will wound the soul and possibly crush someone’s spirit.

man couple people woman boxing

One characteristic of love is expressing words. The words we choose will either encourage or discourage. Build up or teardown. Heal or crush.

Charlotte Mortimer shared her experience in a class project about writing words of love. “The teacher in our adult-education creative-writing class told us to write ‘I love you’ in 25 words or less, without using the words ‘I love you.’ She gave us 15 minutes. A woman in the class spent about ten minutes looking at the ceiling and wriggling in her seat. The last five minutes she wrote frantically, and later read us the results:

‘Why, I’ve seen lots worse haridos than that, honey.’

‘These cookies are hardly burned at all.

‘Cuddle up-I’ll get your feet warm.’”

(Charlotte Mortimer, in February 1990 Reader’s Digest.)

Please allow me to be honest. After reading this list, I believe my wife, Bonnie could rewrite several sentences that I have rudely stated to her in 25 years of marriage. I’m reminded that “love is not rude” (1 Corinthians 13:5). However, I have seen the error of my ways. I realize that love can be expressed by choosing the right words.

Love speaks louder, because love speaks life.

Choosing to be blunt may come more natural for some than others. This is where we rely on the new life and the new creation that God places within us when we receive Jesus Christ. The new nature has come and the old nature is gone (2 Corinthians 5:17). Yes, it does take effort. We pause before we speak. We demonstrate love by articulating in a way that is kind, thoughtful and encouraging. The Bible tells us we have the ability to speak life. “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).

People who love are “life-givers”. Love speaks louder, because love speaks life. Your kind words are actions of love.

tulips on board


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about God’s love and “Being” God’s love, you can listen to Newspring “Love” message series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

Love heart

Day Thirty-One: Love Is The Better Way

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 6, 2018

Day Thirty-One: Love Is The Better Way

Galatians 5:6b, “…The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

WE ARE A BETTER VERSION OF OURSELF WHEN WE LOVE.

To illustrate this principle, let’s think about anger. Anger appears to be opposite of love. Everyone experiences some level of anger. Anger is a justified human emotion. However, we are instructed in the Bible, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” (Ephesians 4:26).

God doesn’t expect us to never be angry. He does want us to consider how we express our anger. Is it possible to be angry and still love? We can. We just need to carefully choose the right reaction to our emotion of anger.

Keep this in mind, people are not getting the best out of you when you are doing the opposite of love.

  • My anger should motivate me to resolve the situation as quickly as I can and not let it linger for days.
  • Anger should not lead me to seek revenge or hurt someone or personally attack them with my words.
  • Anger should not be permitted to destroy my relationships.
  • I can be angry and still communicate a course of action that brings resolution.

No matter if it’s anger, any other emotion or situation, the better version of you is when you act in love.

WE BRING THE BEST OUT OF PEOPLE WHEN WE LOVE.

Someone didn’t give up on you. They believed in you. Someone cared enough to help, correct, encourage and instruct you. Someone demonstrated an action of love and it impacted your life. The action of love always brings positive results.

When you love you bring the best out of people by…

  • seeing the good in them that they may not be able to see.
  • speaking the right words to help their perspective or change their emotion.
  • helping discover solutions to their problems.

When love goes up, everything goes up. Love is always the better way.

Hot air balloon


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about God’s love and “Being” God’s love, you can listen to Newspring “Love” message series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

Love heart

Your next word will cause a Reaction or a Response

Our attempt to resolve problems, deal with differences of opinions, desiring to express where we have been offended or trying to correct bad behavior in a relationship; can either cause more negative reactions or cause a response. Reactions are usually quick and immediate. They are normally more based from how we feel. Like the natural reflex of a muscle. However, a response is more thoughtful. A response considers, “What I am about ready to say, how will it impact the rest of this conversation and will it help to bring resolve?” A response usually has a thought out plan with the end goal in mind to… understand and resolve. Reactions could be more, “I just want to express how I feel” or “I want to get this off my chest”.

We have the ability to trigger a response that could bring resolution, reconciliation and healing. Choosing the right words have tremendous power. Words can provoke, stir up, push buttons. Words can start wars; or bring people to the table to sign Peace Treaties. Words have the power to close the deal on a multi-million dollar contract. Words also have the power to destroy relationships, and create tension and division. Wise words have incredible power to bring peace in a home or in the work place. Words can gain a friend or bridge differences. Being purposeful with our words that cause more response can bring a healthy environment to our relationships.

Consider these Scriptures from God’s Word that bring light to triggering a response or a reaction.

  • Ephesians 3:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
  • Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,”
  • Galatians 5:26, “Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”
  • Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”

What we say, how we react or how we respond will CREATE an environment. We have the ability to raise the level of our relationships to be more purposeful, intentional; to cultivate an environment that will be conducive for encouragment, learning from one another, resolving problems and lifting each other to greatness. Weeds don’t need help to grow. Weeds can grow in any crude environment. Plants and trees that produce healthy fruits and vegetables, need an intentional environment. This requires someone that cares to give the effort to create.

Let’s create an environment that triggers a response so great things can grow.

Bonnie and I had a conversation about causing reactions and responses on our last podcast. You can listen by clicking here… Episode #002 Linked: Are You Causing a Reaction or a Response?