When I was around the age of 14 I lived in a very small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was the typical village where, even though you know people cared about you, gossip was pervasive. It’s like the secret handshake of a small community – everybody talks. As I grew older that was one tendency I was determined to eliminate from my character. Someone shared with me her rules for communicating. Before she opened her mouth to speak she would ask. Is it true? Is it edifying? Is it necessary? If it didn’t pass all three tests, she wouldn’t say it. Those rules are still ingrained in my conscience today. I wish I could say I’m successful at keeping those rules 100% of the time. It’s something to aim for.
Recently, there has been another version circulating the Internet but it has 5 rules using the acrostic THINK. It might be attributed to someone named Mike Henderson. The acrostic stands for – Truthful, Helpful, Important, Necessary, Kind – Those rules also set a perfect goal to aim for in conversation. Colossians 4:6 has something to say about that. “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Yesterday, as I was sitting at my desk, head-down, engrossed in a procedure I was writing someone walked up and complimented something I had done – then left. In that split second, the sun came out. Well, not literally. This was late in the afternoon and the sun had been out for hours, but the words “You’re doing a good job.” engulfed me in the sun that really matters. In that moment the first thought on my mind was “Thank you, Lord for sending that messenger to speak kindness to me right then.” After I recovered, this verse ran through my mind the remainder of the evening. Psalm 40:3 (NIV) “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”
Another thought that took hold and permeated my mind was “How long has it been, since I’ve given sincere, unsolicited compliments to someone?” I need to THINK about that and make it a practice to seek for the good in others to assure them of their value and importance. This little light of mine ….
In my quiet time with the Lord, He gave me this treasure for today: 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.