Read Proverbs 15:1
Do you run your mouth? Being from the south, this was something I was often told not to do. This basically meant, “Do not (continue) to stir the pot.” That is exactly what I did, especially in my relationship with my sister.
You could say that, growing up, we did not get along. My sister is three years older than me and we shared a room until she moved out at age 19. To give some insight, we literally had tape down the middle of our room and were not allowed on the other’s side unless we were exiting.
I mention this because, I don’t think I ever spoke to anyone in my life the way I spoke to my sister. We were mean and awful in our speech to one another and no good ever came from us spending time together. I read Proverbs 15:1 and I am so thankful that the Lord has changed both she and I because, if we continued to approach our relationship with the same speech as we did in our teens, there would be no relationship. But as Christ has grown me, my speech towards everyone, including my sister, changed. I learned to approach every conversation and conflict with gentleness instead of harshness.
One characteristic that I try to live by is to never react and only respond. Reacting is what my immature nature does; whereas, when I gently approach a circumstance with thought, I can respond in a mature and calm manner.
In my life, I believe I best practice this in my marriage. Now Jake and I are not perfect by any means, but we are not “arguing” people. We discuss things with a softness that demands respect from each other because we both believe the Truth behind what Solomon is saying. If we find ourselves in a position where we may be in the “argumentative mood”, we separate ourselves and talk about it when we are back in that mature and calm manner again.
If anyone reacts with harsh words, only deadly speech comes forth; whereas, if we approach each disagreement with a gentleness and kindness, we are able to openly communicate as Christ expects of His followers.
I know it is the easy choice to react, but think of what comes from it. Does change actually occur? Are both sides objectively heard? Take Solomon’s advice and respond with a gentleness that turns away any wrath that may be hiding underneath the surface.