The Law of Kindness
By Irene C. Taylor
The book of Proverbs records a beautiful tribute to womanhood. It is the portrait of a worthy woman. The characteristics listed apply to her role as wife, mother, business woman, employer and neighbor. The golden thread that enhances each of these relationships is, "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness" (Prov. 31:26).
Kindness of speech is not equal to weakness. Kindness and firmness can easily flow from the same lips and must when truth is at stake. James, by inspiration, counsels us to guard the tongue since no man can tame it (James 3:8). Just when we think we have achieved our goal of controlling our tongue and let down our guard, we find the battle not yet won.
Because she learned the value of "the law of kindness" this worthy woman could enjoy a special relationship with her husband and family. Her husband could "safely trust" in her (vv. 11-12).
Kindness begets kindness; it is an investment which reaps great dividends. Instead of berating her mate, she is supportive of him. Rather than taking care of only self, she extends care and consideration to others. How much better a marriage can be when there is appreciation and consideration.
Parents need to learn early that "a soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger" (Prov. 15:1). When we yell at a child, he tends to yell back. Talk to a child in a soft, yet firm, voice and he will learn a better way of communicating. We know the worthy woman dealt firmly and kindly with her children, because they "rise up, and call her blessed" (Prov. 31:28).
More kindness of speech would do much to heal church problems or avoid them completely. Many differences arise due to a clash of wills or personalities. Pride refuses to bend and the rift widens. Even when the rift is over misconduct or doctrinal error, pride often prevents resolution. Think how many innocent people are hurt because a spark is fanned to public proportions which could have been stopped when still a private spark. When full-blown each "side" demands that all view the situation through his eyes and there is no way the innocent can win.
Adhering to the law of kindness would do much to eliminate the spread of gossip which disrupts both friendship and church peace. A disgruntled member broadcasts his grievance to all rather than going directly to the ones involved. Soon the gossip mill has cast a shadow on someone's good name. Inspiration condemns such. "They learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not" (1 Tim. 5:13).
The worthy woman provides the answer to this problem. She is busy with worthwhile activities and drinks not of idleness. She lives by the law of kindness.
Even a casual reading of the portrait of this great lady reveals the beauty of her character. She gives richly of herself to those about her. She cares for her family and the poor. Her kindness was not just for self but for the betterment of those about her. Her life enriches the life of all who know her.
Our purpose on earth is to prepare for heaven and make this world a better place for others. Following the law of kindness in our speech would do much to accomplish both goals.
Since our speech reflects what is in our hearts (Matt. 12:34), watchfulness of our speech should improve our conduct. Let each do her part to eliminate backbiting, gossip, and hurtful words from our speech. Let us practice the law of kindness.
Published October 1996