It was a difficult meeting. I was right and the other person was wrong. They were explaining what they felt and I was defending myself. I got in some really good points. But after the meeting, I felt embarrassed. To defend myself and get in my side of the story I had been rude and condescending. If there was video evidence, it wouldn’t show me in a very good light.

When I look back over my life, the times that embarrass me the most are occasions when I wasn’t very gracious or even a little bit gracious. These are events, conversations or behaviours that I am ashamed of. I could have responded differently but I didn’t. At the time I felt justified. I was being attacked or treated unfairly. The other person was being a jerk. I had a right to be annoyed. But now when I look back all I see is my poor conduct.
Jesus faced a lot of criticism and questions. A certain group of people sought to find something wrong with him or his teaching. He was never a pushover and on occasion, he had harsh words. But he was very gracious, patient and never rude, sarcastic or demeaning to others. In the face of outright opposition and attack, Jesus remained true to his character.

Colossians 4:6 in The Message reads: Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.

Sometimes it’s easy to view other people as the enemy or competition. We try to score points and stick it to them. That’s evidence of a heart that hasn’t yet been transformed, it’s simply un-Christlike. There are dozens of conversations I would like to go back and do-over. But I can’t. So, I need to make sure my interactions with people are gracious and kind. I pray that God will put a guard over my mouth so that what I say encourages and builds others rather than tearing them down. It’s important to remember – “be gracious in your speech.”

See you Sunday, 

Pastor David