“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”
Confronted with a conflict? It’s easy to spout off the first thing that comes to mind. Often, that quick-tempered reaction can be hurtful and do more damage than if we had just stayed quiet.
Imagine a busy parking lot. You are running late, and there is not a place to park. Just ahead, you spot a car backing up for a spot. You think to yourself “Thank God! What luck, a parking spot!” You press the accelerator pedal and pull forward– but not quite quick enough. A small sports car quickly whips into the spot —YOUR spot!
The anger wells up inside. “How dare they take MY spot? How rude!” You want to lash out. Words come quickly to mind. You may even yell ugly things at them, while sitting safely in your own car.
It’s a conflict, and you’re offended. You believe you are in the right about what you’re entitled to. The person in the other car is completely unaware of how they have ruined your morning by taking your spot.
Take a step back. Is this really your spot? Is it really worth “killing someone with words” over a parking place?
It would be foolish to go chase that person down and give them a piece of your mind. This confrontation could come to a very bad ending.
A wise person keeps their temper and words in check. It’s better to speak with purpose, than react with anger-filled words. It doesn’t mean that you are to be a door-mat and walked over. But it does mean that we need to choose our words carefully when dealing with person-to-person conflict.
What are the words of your heart? God already knows what is deeply embedded in our hearts. Reflect God’s goodness in your life through your words and actions. Carefully tame the rash reaction, and choose the words in the midst of conflict carefully.
Following the path,
© Kelly Sundsvold and kellysundsvold.com, 2016