Whenever and wherever we are in contact with other people there is usually potential for disagreements, misunderstandings, disputes and outright strife. Being part of a large family, a parent of six children and also a pastor of churches I have unfortunately witnessed and been amongst more than my fair share of disputes and upsets.
Sadly most of us have experienced the brunt or have been the instigator of a disagreement, and therefore we know that even if it feels good initially to vent our angst about a situation or at a person, no real good comes from arguments and strife.
We weren’t made to live in contention and surrounded by anger and disagreements because medically, emotionally and spiritually it damages our health, our relationships and the essence of who we are.
The bible has some wisdom on how to handle strife and disputes, and if we want to live peacefully, be taken seriously and have healthy relationships with others we would be wise to heed God’s words. God says, “a gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare, and to “have nothing to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels” (Proverbs 15:1; 2 Timothy 2:23-24).
Most living things like sweet substances and peaceful environments, and as the old saying goes, “you can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar”. In other words, we can attract more people and have a greater effect and impact on people and the world around us when we choose to be agreeable, nice and not always on the defensive and ready for a fight.
Next time you are facing a disagreement or you’re tempted to vent your feelings in an unproductive way, take the time to pause and ask God to help you to get your heart, mind and mouth under control before you act and speak. Then choose to respond and express your thoughts and feelings respectively and gently, remembering a gentle answer deflects anger, while harsh words produce quarrels.
Prayer: Lord please help me to respond to people and situations with grace and gentleness. Let my words and actions be one’s that defuse a fight and deflect anger today. In Jesus name Amen