Stay Calm

I just finished chapter 10 in my lectio divina reading of Ecclesiastes, and here’s what stands out for me:

“…calmness will lay great offenses to rest.”  Ecclesiastes 1o:4b

Calmness is a rare quality in our world today.  We not only want to say what we think, we want to say it NOW! Even worse, we want to put it out there for the world to see– on Facebook or Twitter, or whatever other social media option is readily available to us.  The upshot is many people are offended with one another.  I know so many relatives and friends who have “blocked” one another due to unpleasant social media exchanges that are ill advised, and often trivial. Do we really have to get nasty and worked up about our allegiance to a sports team?  Or even a political party or candidate?  Is it necessary to demonize everyone who disagrees with us?  Even when we are right about an issue, demeaning our opponents will never bring them around to our way of thinking.

So, stay calm.  That means, think before you speak (or text). Use your manners.  Respect others.  You know, the rules they taught us in elementary school?  The Bible teaches them too.  Think about these other verses:

“Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!  Fret not yourself, it tends only to evil.”  Psalm 37:8

 

“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”  Proverbs 15:18

 

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

I read once that nuturing anger is like drinking poison in the hopes that the person who upset you will die.  Don’t poison yourself.  Quell those angry words.  Say a prayer– remember you are a sinner, too!  Surrender those feelings to God and allow Jesus to calm the storm.  Ask yourself, do I want to escalate this argument?  Spoil this relationship? Would I want Jesus to hear these words or read this text?  It’s probably not worth it.  So just stay calm.  You’ll be glad you did.

For more on anger see these posts:

Unoffendable

What Should I Do When I am Angry?

Are You Angry?

 

 

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