Humanity / Humility

Humanity / Humility

We’ve all been there. 

We’ve all done it. I certainly have. It’s a tense situation. There’s maybe a little conflict or disagreement. Your internal temperature is rising. Your blood pressure is elevated. Then comes the final straw. The person in front of you says something that just makes your blood boil (most likely someone you’d die for such as your spouse or partner, one of your children, or maybe your best friend). You can’t just let it go. You have to say something. 

So, you react with some nasty retort. Hurtful words. Something you’d instantly like to reel back in. But there they are. Words you wished you’d never uttered, just hanging in the air. You see the other person’s countenance fall. Those words cut deep. They respond in kind, and this back-and-forth pattern continues until you’re both deeply hurt. If only you could start over. If only you could take it all back. 

But you can’t.

What is the solution? 

How can you and I handle these situations better? If you’re like me, you can’t just sit in silence when something like this is going on. What I need is wisdom. Need a shortcut to wisdom? I certainly do. We are in luck. Biblical scholars tell us that there are five “Books of Wisdom” (Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, and Song of Solomon). My favorite is the book of Proverbs. 

Thankfully our scenario above is clearly addressed in one brief, but powerful verse. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” 

Quite a contrast. 

With just a word or two, you can turn away wrath, or you can incite anger. With a gentle answer, the entire situation is diffused. The conflict is “turned away”. The hurt is never inflicted, and the relationship is restored. What will you choose? A gentle answer, or a harsh rebuke? The choice is yours. And so is the outcome. Choose the gentle answer and turn away wrath.

Kerry "Kry Baby" Skaugset

Eastside HOG Chaplain

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