One Thing | Gentle Words

 In Featured, One Thing

By Jason Kramme 

 

One thing I’m grateful for | I am grateful for the month of August. In my humble opinion, August is the best weather month Minnesota has to offer. It’s still warm, so you can swim. The dew point is lower, so you can breathe. The grass stops growing, so you don’t have to mow. And football is just around the corner (we hope). 

One thing I’m learning | As we head into an uncertain year and plenty of uncharted territory, I’m learning to embrace a powerful idea: We often overestimate what we can do in a day, but underestimate what we can do in a year. This pandemic has had a unique ability to turn me into a novice in a host of unexpected areas. Prior to March, I felt as though I had a pretty good handle on the core ministry skills that I would need in the coming year. Not anymore and the reality that I have so much to learn about digital media, social media, and how to be church in a pandemic has me staring at a daunting learning curve. So, this idea has been a centering thought for me when I get overwhelmed. It reminds me that I don’t have to figure it all out in a day and that small lessons over time do add up.  

One thought that is challenging me spiritually |Do you remember chain mail? I’m sure there was a time when chain mail existed as actual mail, but I’m thinking of email. They’d say something like, “send to ten people and then you’ll have a great day!” The gist was that you needed to become a conduit through which this idea, message, or product could flow on and on into the ether of the internet. I’m not sure if it’s something to be proud of, but I never shared a single one of those things. My internal spam filter never would let me do it.  

Lately I’ve been challenged by Proverbs 15:1 which says, “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but hard words stir up anger.” Between COVID, the election, the pandemic, and going back to school my inbox is full of sassy words to share that are bound to stir up anger as this verse predicts. There are times when I feel strongly about something and so it takes every ounce of self-control I have to not hit “forward” on one of these issues with the intent to hurt or belittle someone.  

The Bible says that God has loved us so that we might love others. In other words, God is showing us the way to be a conduit for something bigger and better than insults and drama. God has also given us the gift of wisdom to discern the difference between these bigger ideals and small gossip. As the debates in our culture pick up steam, I’m praying that God would increase my sense of God’s love, my desire for wisdom, and capacity to speak gently. As you seek out how to respond to the negative chain mail of this moment, my prayer is that you would embrace Proverbs 15:1 and these three gifts from God.  

Jason Kramme serves as the Director of Family Ministry at Prince of Peace.

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