Wednesday November 17, 2004
We are called to be patient in conflict. It is our spiritual obligation to express this characteristic because God knows there is great power in patience. Our natural tendency is to shout back when we are wrongly accused, but to demonstrate Christ, we must choose a different path:
Remain quiet when verbally attacked. A person's anger can feed our own and lead to a shouting match. Instead, allow him to have his say.
Listen without responding. In our silence, it may be easy to mentally shut out the verbal assault, but we should hear the other person's concerns.
Pray for whoever is attacking you. We probably do not feel like praying, but that is not the issue.
Control your thoughts. It can be tempting to dwell on the injustice of a situation rather than focusing on God and what He thinks of us.
Control your emotions. Rely on the Holy Spirit to give you right responses.
Be ready to forgive. We are to be patient when wronged and willing to release our hurt. (2 Timothy 2:24)
Speak encouraging words. Express appreciation for bringing concerns to your attention. And ask for forgiveness if you have made a mistake.
To our human flesh, these seven practices sound foolish and ineffective. In fact, the opposite is true. There is great power and fortitude in patience because so few people can practice it well. To respond rightly impresses nonbelievers because they see something in you that they desperately want for themselves.
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