Sunday, July 7, 2019

Defusing the Bomb

When was the last time you got into a heated argument? This morning, this week, this month? Whenever it was, somewhere along the line someone got angry and said something unkind.  Whether it was you or the other person who lashed out, it escalated the disagreement to another level.  In the end, did that bring you and the other person closer together or push you farther apart (we all know the answer to that question)?  Our verse today offers a godly alternative that yields a much better outcome.

Proverbs 15:1 – A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger

Things to think about:
·      So when was the last time you got into a heated argument?
o   Were you more the instigator or the recipient?
·      Our natural inclination is to hit back, hit harder, and fight to win. Some of the reasons for this are:
o   In the moment it feels “good”
o   It might seem “fair” or “right”
o   We’re emotional beings by nature so our emotions can rule us
o   Our egos need protection so as not to look or feel weak
·      The Bible is full of counterculture advice when it comes to conflict:
o   Turn the other cheek
o   Love your enemy
o   If your enemy is thirsty, give him a drink of water
o   A gentle answer
·      Have you tried God’s way by remaining calm and being gentle when the other party is getting worked up?
o   If so, how did it turn out?
·      Are you currently in a disagreement or conflict with someone?
o   How can providing a gentle answer yield a better result in this situation?
o   What would a “gentle answer” look like in this situation?
o   How might that gentle answer be like a cup of water to them?
·      Why is God’s way impossible without His help?
o   Jesus says in John 15:3 -“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
o   Let’s ask God for the help we need to live the life He has called us to. 
§  And let’s do it BEFORE the next conflict arises so that He is leading us not our emotions

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