Ralph's Daily Devotional - Wednesday, February 7

Proverbs 15:1 is helpful in heated discussions.  The other day I received a mistaken bill from Verizon for $860.00.  In my thoughts I yelled out, "What's this nonsense?  Let me call these idiots now!"  Thankfully I didn't.  I followed this verse, and of course it worked better than yelling.  When resolving this problem, Verizon said how appreciative they were of my patience.  To be honest, I'm not always like this!  Gentleness can include frankness and firmness, but not rudeness.

The same goes for answering emails and interacting on social media.  Try to be gentle, even when people get annoying.  Answering with sarcasm, arrogance or rudeness will surely get you an angry response.

Some "gentle answers that turn away anger" are: "What can we do to resolve this?" "Sorry, I have to disagree," "I can see your point," "I apologize," "I appreciate your feelings" and "What would you like me to do?"

Are you struggling to communicate better with your spouse or kids?  Maybe it's that difficult neighbor or boss.  Can you take criticism without flying off and getting on the defense?  Or maybe it's a long negotiation that is trying your patience and making you irritable

There was a song years ago called, "Try a little tenderness."  I have found that giving a gentle answer when people expect a fight often (but not always) disarms them, making them more open to my points.  My wife Terri is a master at this!  Try not to fall into the trap of retaliating when people respond to you in ways that are sarcastic, nasty or just plain stupid.

Proverbs 15:1 really works.  Try it.  You have nothing to lose but your temper!

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