Someone said something this past week that I’ve been meditating on. He was talking about something called “The Monastic Rule of three (Greek Orthodox) which says: 1) always speak the truth, 2) only say what’s necessary, 3) only say it with kindness. He said at the end of his post that it sounds like common sense to him. As I thought about it I began to think, “yes, it does sound like common sense but if you really look at it it doesn’t always seem to be what we do so my argument is that it’s harder than we think if we are living in the flesh and not the spirit. How many times a day do we break this so called Monastic Rule? It might be easier for a monk to achieve success with this because they are pretty much secluded but to us who are living in the world it takes much practice and perseverance to obey this.
So what does the Word of God say about the items in this Monastic Rule. The Bible is our life’s roadmap so we always need to test things against the Word even if it comes from rules in a church or monastery.This is what I found.
1) Always speak the truth. Jesus said over and over when he was on earth “I tell you the truth…….). I see over 50 times he said that so truth was important to him and he actually said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Truth came down from heaven and among many other things he was trying to teach us what and who truth is. If we are “In” Him then we should be always speaking the truth but why don’t we? That’s something that we have to examine in ourselves.
2) Only say what’s necessary. 1 Cor 9 says, “Unless you speak intelligble words with your tongue . how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.” Have you ever said that no one listens to you? Maybe you’re not speaking intelligble words and it’s all going into the air. How many times have you heard people talking and someone will say, “that’s too much information”? Intelligible words? Remember the commercial that said “When E. F. Hutton speaks everyone listens.” Something to meditate on. Only say what’s necessary.
3) Only say it with kindness. Remember when your Mother used to tell you that if you didn’t have anything good to say don’t say it at all? l Thes 5:15 says “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” How many times have we snapped back harsh words to someone who may have done the same to us. Do you notice that it says “always “try” to be kind to each other and everyone else. He knows in our flesh our first inclination is pay back but he says try. Try. Try. Try. And the more we try the easier it will become to speak our words in kindness.
So I would say this Monastic Rule is biblical and good advice for all of us.
“Lord, please forgive me if I don’t speak the truth, or say too much, or don’t speak with kindness in my words. Allow me to try and try and try until it becomes natural to speak the truth in love and kindness.”
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and healing to the bones. Prov 16:24