Ephesians 4:1–6 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.’ (vv2–3)

Actions speak louder than words since actions reveal the intention behind those words. Our actions present evidence for our perspective. Yet, all our words and actions have consequences. Observing our family, we develop behaviour that takes years to change. It becomes our default setting, giving us numerous self-management issues. 

We can’t wipe the hard drive clean, but Jesus can overwrite it with kingdom code. There’s a chance that the Spirit’s power-wash can load a new operating system. Bad behaviour will inadvertently damage those we love and appreciate. Offloading stress creates tension and escalates conflict, where gentleness is always an early casualty. 

Learning to empathise helps us to locate our perception outside our immediate interpretation. This interrupts our instinctive response quite helpfully. In deliberately choosing to see through another’s eyes, we can discover the story is two-sided, where my perception is not the only one. My actions are tempered with a fuller understanding of the overall situation. 

Jesus operated like this throughout His ministry. One way to find that other side to the story is to ask questions, again something Jesus did a lot. In response, it is helpful to disclose how and why we see the situation the way that we do. 

This two-way communication process generates data that we can work with logically and reasonably, rather than simply reacting and responding to rising emotions. Humility means being prepared to get down and dirty and look at causation rather than simply mansplaining* about what the rights and wrongs are in any situation.


1Kings 10:1–13; Ps. 127:1–2; John 3:22–36; Rom. 7:7–25


Are you better at talking about yourself or asking questions to discover more about others? Give thought to why you think that way.


‘Lord, help me to humble myself and learn to walk in another person’s shoes before I speak my own mind. Amen.’

Photo by john amachaab on Unsplash
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.