21st March 2020

What Does the Bible Say?

“It is better to be slow tempered than famous; it is better to have self-control than to control an army.”
Proverbs 16:32 (TLB)

The Bible can be used as a handbook for living, and a guide in virtually any situation. For example, what do you do when you are faced with an angry person? Perhaps a family member, a friend, an upset customer or an angry stranger whom you have somehow offended? When someone is angry and shouting at you the temptation is to either shout right back or to run away at the first opportunity. But what does the Bible say we should do?

Take a look at Proverbs 15:1 which says “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels.” So if we respond in kind, shouting back, all it does is stir up anger. But if we respond quietly and calmly it defuses the anger of the person shouting at us. In my job in the motor trade I have faced customers very upset because their car is not ready on time, or needs more work, or is not repaired because the part needed is out of stock. The majority of people are very nice and reasonable but a minority will shout and scream at you in anger. The problem is that for most people the car is not a luxury but an essential part of life. Therefore you will have to answer softly and calmly not just once, but probably several times in order to defuse the situation.

The same applies in angry arguments with family members, though that may be more difficult because the hurt and resentment may go very deep. A quick prayer to God for help, for wisdom, patience and calm will also make a difference, right there and then when the other person is shouting at you. But most of all try to remember the scripture above, and reply as it tells us to. Keep applying it until the situation has calmed down. You may be pleasantly surprised that it does actually work! As the header scripture makes clear, self control is a Christian virtue, and when faced with an angry person there is no better time to demonstrate it.

Prayer
Father, the pressures of life seem to make people more tense and short tempered these days, so please help us to be calm, peaceful people when faced with problems ourselves. Help us to use a soft answer and self-control when faced with someone who is angry for whatever reason. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by Keith Hartrick
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About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: leeds@gracecom.church