Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. Matthew 5:9
Verbal sparring, debating, arguing, spats, and having the mindset, “I am going to say what’s on my mind, or always insisting on having the last word,” is strife. Strife is sin. But there is another category of believers who remain silent, but their thoughts are terrible. Before a word is on my tongue, you, LORD, know it completely. Psalm 139:4. Because God hears our thoughts, unspoken thoughts carry the same weight as spoken words.
Have you noticed throughout the Bible that God provides instruction on the development of a Christ-like character? Yes, we must do our part [human effort] to achieve daily spiritual growth and transformation [Sanctification]. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us of the traits we possess when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Our spiritual journey is based on Righteousness by Faith.
Most of us have been involved in a conflict; conflict resolution is utilized in most professional environments. But our conflict resolution differs because we answer to God, and He has specific biblical instructions on how to resolve or prevent controversy.
It is easy to become involved in verbal sparring. Some people love to argue, and it only takes one word to push their “Round One” button. Even so, having an argumentative spirit is not from God. Even worse, may God show us mercy if we are arguing over the Holy scriptures. Link for Bible verses on arguing: https://www.openbible.info/topics/arguing
When you are approached by an angry person (family, friend, coworker), simply walk away. We deserve respect even when we are wrong. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help you calm down and pray for the individual. When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2. If you are the subject of the argument, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your faults. It is a possibility that the other person is telling the truth.
Anger is a powerful emotion that eliminates all rational thought processes.
An angry person is too upset to listen or receive your apology. It is not the time to talk. When the situation allows, ask if the two of you can sit down and talk–do not wait until the next day! It takes a lot of negative energy to stay angry. Hopefully, they will calm down. Begin your conversation with, “You are right. I am sorry for ____________, apologize and ask for forgiveness, then ask God for forgiveness.
If you are approached by someone who is not angry, make sure it is the right time and place to discuss the issue.
What about false accusations? Lies are from the bitter fruits of jealousy and resentment, and anger. “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14
God’s Instruction on asking Him for forgiveness first:
“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Matthew 5:23-24
We cannot approach God first and ask for forgiveness before asking the other individual to forgive us. What happens when the person is unwilling to speak to you? We can use our cell phones to text, use FB messenger, or leave a voicemail. If you are on a blocked status, then accept that they have ended the relationship. Reconciling with an individual who desires to hold a grudge and remain angry is beyond our control. Still, we must pray for forgiveness and move forward.
Please keep this in mind: Our tone of voice may have conveyed our emotional state of being stressed. Every day we make intentional or unintentional mistakes, praise God for His mercy. Rid yourself of PRIDE! Give an apology even if the other person was wrong. Showing kindness and remaining humble produces the character that is pleasing to God. After all, we did commit to being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
For clarification, I believe in zero tolerance for verbal abuse. If you are in an unhealthy and abusive relationship, “get out!” God did not create us in His image to become victims of abuse. What is unhealthy? Put-downs, profanity, sarcasm, being yelled at, and all disrespectful or condescending remarks that attack your self-worth.
Bible study: 2 Timothy 2
Prayer: God, we are often unaware of our displeasing character traits. We ask you to forgive us for having an argumentative spirit and for engaging in or provoking controversy. Please search our hearts and reveal our sins. We pray for the strength to leave situations of abuse. Teach us what true humility is according to your godly standards. We desire to live a peaceful and joyful life and to receive our reward of eternal life. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
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