‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.’ Proverbs 15:1 NIV
Have you heard about the fightin’ immigrant who landed in Australia and announced, ‘If there’s a government here, I’m against it’? We smile, but ‘harsh words stir up anger.’ If you want to avoid conflict, don’t create it. The key to getting along with people who are upset or who don’t share your viewpoint is to relax and try to empathise. That doesn’t mean acquiescing to their every whim. But when you are clear about your position, you can let them be who they are. When you are ok with who you are, you don’t need to make others wrong in order to feel right. Not only is it naïve to expect everybody to see things your way, you must recognise that they have their own thoughts, opinions and feelings. Jesus said, ‘Settle matters quickly with your adversary…while you are… with him.’ (Matthew 5:25 NIV) Talking to him will help you understand his viewpoint. Do you then have to agree with everybody? No, but ‘Do all…you can to live in peace with everyone.’ (Romans 12:18 NLT) Are there times when you must defend your position? Yes, but don’t go around with a chip on your shoulder looking for arguments. Sometimes Christians are the worst offenders; we think because our cause is just, it doesn’t matter who gets caught in the crossfire. ‘Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.’ (Proverbs 19:11 NLT) Make up your mind to extend to others the same grace God has extended to you.
SoulFood: Chron 7:20-9:44, Luke 17:1-10, Ps 119:121-128, Pr 18:13-20
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2012