‘Don’t use… abusive language.’ Ephesians 4:29 NLT
The Bible says: ‘Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live.’ (Ephesians 4:29–30 NLT) Notice, when you lash out in anger you not only hurt the other person, you grieve the Holy Spirit. Have you considered that? As followers of Christ we’re called to try to understand what the other person needs. That means not bringing up previously confessed offences, dragging in other people, or using wisecracks about someone’s weight, colour, IQ, or physical, mental and emotional limitations. Don’t bring up things that cloud the issue and keep you from finding a solution. And don’t raise the decibel level in order to intimidate or manipulate. God made you with a capacity for anger because, when handled right, it can be the fuel needed to bring positive change and the medicine that heals. So:
(1) Seek a solution, not a ‘victory.’ Name-calling and ‘diagnosing’ others just makes things worse. Your focus shouldn’t be on what they did, but what you can do together to resolve it.
(2) Acknowledge your flaws and ask for forgiveness. Admitting your imperfections makes it easier for the other person to admit theirs.
(3) For every difficulty you address, give a sincere compliment. Instead of criticising, try saying, ‘I’m sure this wasn’t easy for you to hear. Thanks for listening to me so graciously.’
Being solution-focused instead of blame-focused gives people something to live up to, not down to.
SoulFood: Lev 23:15–22, Acts 2:1–18
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023