Whether at work or at home or in some other setting, you know what it’s like when someone gets mad, gets their feelings hurt, and accuses you of something you didn’t do. Instead of coming to find out what really happened or to talk it out calmly, they start right in with the accusations.
First reaction is what? “If they’ve got the nerve to come in here blaming me for things they don’t even know about, they’d better have the guts to hear what I think of it . . . and of them.”
Same thing happened to an Old Testament hero named Gideon, who famously took 300 men on a nighttime raid of a huge enemy encampment, armed with nothing more than trumpets, torches, and a bunch of empty jars. When God gave this tiny band an unlikely victory, some of the other fighting men of Israel swooped over to get into the action. But they were steamed that Gideon hadn’t seen them fit to be part of the initial attack. “They criticized him sharply,” the Bible says at the beginning of Judges 8. Still, instead of getting into a shouting match, he calmly told them he wasn’t half the fighting man they were. Cooler heads carried the day. “At this, their resentment against him subsided.”
Remember this: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Next time someone wants to start something, let your low-key response put an end to it.
Pray this prayer: Lord, teach me how to take a gentler tone with my wife and kids and the other people who irritate me sometimes. I don’t want to be an angry man.