Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3, NLV

Have you ever spoken the truth, only to have it rejected? Or have you ever shown kindness only to have it be taken advantage of?

Kindness and truth are meant to be held in perfect balance. Together they create a beautiful harmony that reflects the heart of the Father. Jesus held these characteristics in balance perfectly, as with the woman at the well, with Zacheus, with the woman caught in adultery… He treated each one with perfect kindness. And being “full of grace and truth,” He spoke the truth to each one faithfully as well.

You may say that He was not kind to the Pharisees, the ruling priests, or the rich for whom he reserved some of His harshest words. But even with these, in each case where He dealt with them individually, we see once again His kindness blending perfectly with truth (Nicodemus, Simon the Pharisee, and the man in Mark 10:21).

And so it should be for us. Not that we are supposed to be some kind of truth police, with a license to go around “nicely” calling out errors wherever we find them. But when we are presented with the opportunity to come alongside someone in need we must remember the way Jesus ministered; with blended kindness and truth. It is as though either one of these without the other is neither kind nor true. They are meant to be held together, like hydrogen and oxygen which form water, or sodium and chlorine which form salt. The former, when separated, are explosive! The latter by themselves are caustic! But when combined these pairs of elements form stable compounds that are essential for life. So too are kindness and truth. To share the truth effectively we must be kind, and real kindness neglects not the truth.

Lord Jesus, you told us and showed us how to rightly represent the Father in kindness and in truth. Strengthen us to trust you to do the same by your Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Copyright Jere Vandewalle.

Jere is the Director of Operations for Christian Educators.

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Walking in the Opposite Spirit

3 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for this word today, Jere. You are so right–this really is the heart of Jesus and the Father. Without the Holy Spirit to enable us in these things, we flounder quite a bit in trying to balance them…thanks again for this reminder to show Jesus to others in the way we interact with them.

    1. I agree, Rhapsody – this is a powerful message! We are so blessed to have the Holy Spirit as our guide as we speak kindness and truth to those around us!

  2. In this world where truth is not always valued, believed or expressed, I loved this devotional with the example of Jesus stating truth and kindness! It encourages me to say the truth with kindness, even when it is not popular or politically correct. Thank you for this scripture and devotional!

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