by Rick Warren — October 8, 2023
From 40 Days of Love
“Brothers and sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently help make him right again. But be careful, because you might be tempted to sin, too.”
Galatians 6:1 (NCV)
Everybody in your life is going to disappoint you at some point. Why? Because nobody’s perfect!
So how do you deal with disappointing people? How does love respond when people disappoint us?
The Bible says in Galatians 6:1, “Brothers and sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently help make him right again. But be careful, because you might be tempted to sin, too” (NCV).
The loving response to people who disappoint you is to be gentle, not judgmental.
How do you have tough conversations with people in a gentle way? How do you confront people you love when you see they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing? The Bible tells us to do it gently and with respect, not harshly or in a rude or mean way.
Here’s a little equation to keep in mind: Right + Rude = Wrong.
It doesn’t matter if you’re right. If you’re rude about it, then nobody’s going to care what you have to say. They’re just going to get defensive! If you want to get through to someone who has disappointed you, then you should respond in a gentle and loving way.
Proverbs 15:4 says, “Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit” (NLT).
We always have a choice in how we speak to somebody—especially with our kids. Have you found how deeply hurtful words can wound a child? You can scar them for years. But the Bible says that kind words heal and help. So when your kids mess up, don’t get on their case and tell them whatever you think they are at the moment. Give them a vision of how things could be! Speak words of life and health and hope into them, not harsh words of judgment. Be gentle.
It’s the same way in our marriages. How many marriage problems could be avoided if we just waited a beat and used words that are gentle and kind, not harsh or vindictive?
We need to learn to cut each other some slack and be kind and gentle in our speech and responses.