Friday, July 15, 2011

31 DAYS TO A WISER YOU: Proverbs Chapter 15

Photo Courtesy of Storm Crypt

This is part of a series, studying the book of Proverbs during the month of July, 2011. For more details click here.

Yesterday here in North Carolina, the heat index was 108 degrees!  I'm sure in other parts of the world it was even hotter, but for me, since I live in NC, that's got my attention.  It was not only hot, but extremely humid too.  Hello again, my friend summer!

Sometime if you get a chance, ask a police officer about how the number of crimes against people increases when it's hot outside.  Ask a paramedic or rescue personnel about how many more people get injured in arguments or fights when the temperature rises.  Somehow the higher the temperature rises, the shorter our fuses get.  Unfortunately, this phenomenon is not related to warm days only - this is a year-round struggle. 

Several verses here in chapter 15 speak to controlling the tongue as it relates to agreeing or disagreeing with other people.  Two verses in particular stand out - vs 1 "A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare" as well as vs 18 "A hot tempered person starts fights; a cool tempered person stops them."  

"Anger is only one letter short of danger."  We each control where our conversations go with other people.  We each are individually responsible for stopping short of saying things we will later regret.  How do we do that?  Here are a few keys to remember -

  1. When in doubt - DON'T!  If you question whether you should respond to someone, if you question what tone to take with them, if you wonder whether you should add your two cents - just don't do it.  You don't have to worry about the ramifications of comments not shared.
  2. When in doubt - PAUSE!  Take a moment to role play the thoughts in your mind before they become a spoken reality.  Does your tone reflect your heart?  Are you in complete control of your emotions in the moment?  Are you one who requires time to process and properly respond? 
  3. When in doubt - LISTEN!  So much of communication is lost in listening.  Our focus is on our hurt, our ideas, our on voice - and so often we just don't listen to hear what's actually being communicated, whether spoken or not.
  4. Once you are sure - PROCEED CAUTIOUSLY!  There is almost never a time when a response is immediately required.  Once properly processed, there's no rush to share immediately.  Take your time, be thorough in explanation, and view your words from the other person's eyes.     
Let's each be that gentle voice of reason to others around us.

Key Verse For Me
Proverbs 15:33 - Fear of the LORD teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.

How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. - Marcus Aurelius
Related Scriptures
James 1:19-20 - Understand this, my dear brothers and sister: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.  Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.  

Thanks again for all You have done today, Lord Jesus.  I pray that, in my life, I will model You as accurately as possible in dealing with others appropriately.      

So what verse(s) stick out to you and why?

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