The choice is mine
Twenty-nine years of marriage and 25 years of teaching teens have taught me a thing or two. One of the greatest is my tone of voice and the words I choose make a great impact on the quality of our relationships. Though I disagree with the philosophy, many teens I teach believe they only need to be respectful to those who respect them. While I strive to encourage them to respect all, I also strive to earn their respect with honesty, integrity, and genuineness. In my years as a wife, I’ve learned softly spoken words of kindness will accomplish more in a disagreement than harsh words ever will.
Experience isn’t my only teacher. The Word of God teaches me lesson after lesson from the men and women who made wise choices and from the ones who didn’t. Rehoboam is one in the second category.
After the burial of King Solomon, his son Rehoboam ascended to the throne. The people of Israel with Jeroboam as their spokesman asked the new king to lighten their burden as citizens. In a show of wisdom, the king asked them to return in 3 days and he sought advice from 2 groups, his father’s advisors and his friends. From the older group-
“If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.” 2 Chronicles 10: 7
The younger group however advised the king to place an even heavier burden on the people to show them who is in control!
“The king answered them harshly.” 2 Chronicles 10:13
The people in turn left the kings presence and washed their hands of him. Ten of the 12 tribes pulled away to form the northern kingdom of Israel with Jeroboam their king. The 2 remaining tribes continued under the descendants of David and were called Judah.
Lord, thank you for the reminder through Rehoboam that the choice is mine. I can choose to speak with kindness or I can speak harshly. Though kindness is my usual choice, I falter in times of stress and aggravation and speak harshly. I want to be better than that so I ask you, Holy Spirit, to work within me. Even when I’m tired, stressed, and frustrated, I want to exhibit the love of Jesus with every word and tone but I need help, Lord. Soften my words and lace them with kindness. Pull me back when harsh words are about to leave my mouth. As David prayed-
“Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141: 3
Amen & Amen!