Thursday, June 15, 2006

A lesson for Laura

Yesterday I disagreed with someone. I wanted to forcefully state the rightness of my view. As the conversation progressed, my anger started to grow. I wanted to exclaim my irritation. Demonstrating my bitter feelings would have felt so good at that moment.

But I didn't. I held my tongue. I kept repeating to myself, "A soft answer turneth away wrath," as I listened to my opponent. It was a proud moment for me. I was so good! I was pretty angry inside, though, and last night I replayed the conversation in my head. I had done nothing wrong. I had behaved well - and pretty righteously, too. I prayed and told God that I had been wronged. I was mad about it. I was vexed! Was He going to do anything to make it right? I decided that instead of my regularly-scheduled Bible reading for the night, I would read through Proverbs, paying special attention to all those lovely verses about how the wise hold their tongues, and how fools blabber on. I'd get a little scriptural pat on the back for being such a good girl.

I began reading and was hugely enjoying myself when this little gem popped out at me:

The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult. (Proverbs 12:16)

Well, it was nice, I guess, but it didn't really apply to me - or did it? I got a piece of paper and wrote it out over and over again until I'd completely filled the paper. I kept thinking of the character of Mrs. Bennett in the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice and how she seemed to constantly squawk and shriek that she was "vexed." Eww! Could that be me? And the second part of the verse... ignoring insults couldn't be very healthy, now really! But the more I pondered it, the more I agreed and saw the wisdom there. It reminded me of one of my favorite proverbs - one I constantly say to my children: Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11) I shouldn't even be angry privately about the matter, and if I felt wronged or insulted, I would be prudent to ignore it - to overlook any offense.

I dreamed about those two proverbs all night long, and when I got up this morning, I spent a lot of time praying for forgiveness and for the words to go and apologize properly and seek forgiveness of the one with whom I'd disagreed (who, when I called and apologized, was extremely gracious). And for the rest of today I've been thinking of those verses and praying that I'll remember and incorporate them all day, every day, in every situation and especially with my brothers and sisters in Christ. (As Steve often says, the only problem with Christianity is the Christians - and we can begin with me!)



Blogger Jeannine said...

I'm still working on holding my tongue in the first place. :-P

7:54 AM  
Blogger Jeannine said...

I hope you're enjoying your time with your guests. :-)

9:08 PM  

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