Reflecting loving-kindness in our speech is by no means easy. Referring to the tongue, the disciple James wrote: “Not one of mankind can get it tamed. An unruly injurious thing, it is full of death-dealing poison.” (Jas. 3:8) What can help us to bridle this body member that is so difficult to control? Jesus’ words to the religious leaders of his day give us insight. He said: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34) To have loving-kindness safeguard our tongue, we need to implant that quality in our heart—our inner person. Let us see how meditation and prayer help us to do just that.
Jehovah God is “abundant in loving-kindness,” states the Bible. (Ex. 34:6) “Your loving-kindness, O Jehovah,” sang the psalmist, “has filled the earth.” (Ps. 119:64) The Scriptures contain numerous accounts of how Jehovah showed loving-kindness to his worshippers. Taking time to meditate appreciatively on ‘Jehovah’s dealings’ can instill in us the desire to cultivate this godly quality.—Read Psalm 77:12.
For example, think about how Jehovah delivered Abraham’s nephew Lot and his family when He brought about the destruction of Sodom, the city where they lived. As that time drew closer, the angels who had come to Lot urged him to take his family and quickly leave the city. “When he kept lingering,” says the Bible, “then in the compassion of Jehovah upon him, the [angels] seized hold of his hand and of the hand of his wife and of the hands of his two daughters and they proceeded to bring him out and to station him outside the city.” Are not our hearts touched when we reflect on this saving act, and are we not moved to acknowledge that it was an expression of God’s loving-kindness?—Gen. 19:16, 19.
Consider also the example of King David of ancient Israel, who sang: “[Jehovah] is forgiving all your error, [he] is healing all your maladies.” How David must have appreciated being shown forgiveness for his sin with Bath-sheba! He extolled Jehovah, saying: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, his loving-kindness is superior toward those fearing him.” (Ps. 103:3, 11) Meditating on these and other Scriptural accounts fills our hearts with gratitude for Jehovah’s loving-kindness, and we are moved to praise and thank him. The more grateful we are at heart, the more inclined we are to become imitators of the true God.—Eph. 5:1.
Scriptural examples show that Jehovah extends his loving-kindness—his loyal love—to those who already have an approved relationship with him. What about those who lack such a bond with the living God? Is Jehovah harsh or unkind toward them? Not at all. “[God] is kind toward the unthankful and wicked,” states Luke 6:35. “He makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous.” (Matt. 5:45) Before learning the truth and acting on it, we were recipients of God’s kindness, or general kindness. As his worshippers, however, we have become the objects of his loyal love—his steadfast loving-kindness. (Read Isaiah 54:10.) How thankful we can be for that! And what a powerful reason that is for displaying loving-kindness in our speech as well as in other aspects of our daily life!
An invaluable aid in our cultivating loving-kindness is the privilege of prayer. This is because love and kindness—elements of loving-kindness—are aspects of the fruitage of Jehovah’s holy spirit. (Gal. 5:22) We can instill loving-kindness in our hearts by coming under the influence of that spirit. The most direct way to receive Jehovah’s holy spirit is to ask for it in prayer. (Luke 11:13)
It is appropriate that we repeatedly pray for God’s spirit and accept its guidance. Yes, meditation and prayer are essential if we are to have the law of loving-kindness upon our tongues.