Words of instruction

Sisters and Brothers in the God Movement: Hear and heed these words of instruction. Don’t hedge on the truth. Trust the ties that bind us one to another. Truth-telling makes them stronger.

Remember this: The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love.*

When you become angry with another—and it’s bound to happen—don’t let your anger overwhelm your affection.

Remember this: Every occasion of conflict is an opening for deeper communion. The risk is worth the reward.

Turn your back on thievery. Don’t steal money, don’t pillage hope, don’t plunder anyone’s good name.

Remember this: The hard-won wages of honest work are not for hoarding. You didn’t “earn” what you have any more than you “earn” God’s grace. Generosity is the evidence of both.

Trash-talking is a sure sign you’ve made your bed in a dump. Don’t menace with your mouth, don’t pollute the air with gossip.

Remember this: Sticks and stones merely break their bones, but poisoned words can kill. Practice the same care with your speech as you do with your roses and your heirlooms.

Shower yourself with tenderheartedness, as Christ has tendered you. Scrub away your greasy wrangling and your grimy wrath.

Remember this: God’s good Name is at stake in the way you treat each other. Cuss your neighbor, cuss your God.

©Ken Sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org. Inspired by Ephesians 4:25-5:2. *Sentence from a William Sloan Coffin benediction.