For me, this week's Try It Tuesday would be the latter.
Proverbs 15:1 says,
"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." NKJV
The NLT puts it this way,
"A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare."
Any idea where we're going this week?
I wish I could tell you I'm gentle and soft spoken by nature. I'm not.
I am a quiet person if I don't know you, but around those I know--gentle and soft spoken would not be me.
I read an article one time about how we tend to treat strangers better than our family. If we're out and about and a stranger accidentally bumps into us, they apologize (usually) and we say, 'Oh, no problem', pick up our dropped things and move on. But if we are with our children and one of them bumps into us and we drop our things, they apologize (usually) and we say something like this, 'Be careful, would you!! You saw my hands were full!! Now help me pick this stuff up and watch where you're going!".
Hmmm..do we see a problem here?
And what about our husbands? Maybe we've asked them to fix the leaky toilet or to bring the trash cans back down to the house. Maybe we asked them to pick up a loaf of bread on their way home from work or to change the light bulb in the hallway. For whatever reason those things didn't get done.
Maybe DH hasn't had the time yet to fix the toilet. Maybe he's had a hard day and the trash cans and the bread just slipped his mind. Maybe we're out of light bulbs or it's raining outside and he's waiting on it to stop so he won't get soaked going to get the ladder.
Even though I try hard (and usually succeed) to not get upset, if I'm honest, somewhere deep inside me I'm just a bit irked because things aren't getting done on my time frame and sometimes my mouth flies open and there go those words spoken in anger--'You know that the garbage is piling up because the trash cans are at the end of the driveway, right?' or 'How do I make grilled cheese sandwiches with no bread?'
I can honestly say that when my mouth has jumped ahead of my brain and those angry words came flying out, what followed was never good...never positive.
After my angry words I usually see hurt faces and drooping shoulders. Those are often followed by snippy attitudes or hateful, angry words from those I've come unleashed on.
How is that God honoring?? Do I like it when folks talk to me in anger? Not a chance!!
So for this week, let's begin today to put into practice the art of not saying things in anger.
DH forget the bread? It's okay. We've all got enough in our pantry to improvise or make something else.
Tiny tot #1 spill their juice for the 3rd time while tiny tot #2 jumps up and down in the spilled mess? It's okay. Just remove those tiny tots and clean up the mess.
Teenager doesn't hear you ask them to empty the dishwasher because their MP3 player is attached to their ears? Just wave at them and get their attention.
But whatever we do....no angry words.
Explain to DH that you'll just whip up something else. Hug those tiny tots and tell them you'll read a story together once the mess is cleaned up. After waving at the teen and making your request, thank them for emptying that dishwasher.
I'm sure we'll be amazed at the difference in our families and even in ourselves when we refuse to speak in anger or frustration.
My family may even report me abducted.......
Keep me up with how you do this week and remember what Philippians 4:13 says....
" I can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens me."