“Help Me Understand”
One of the things I want to make sure we understand about Proverbs is not all of these work 100% of the time. Solomon is giving wisdom to his son, but we all know some of these things don’t work all the time. That is true of the Proverb today. “A gentle answer turns away wrath”. We probably have all been in situations where it didn’t matter how gentle we were the other person was angry and nothing worked.
However, this should not discourage us from finding a way to have difficult conversations. Strained relationships are difficult and when they are going on inside a community of faith they really must be addressed. Sometime Christians are the worst at holding grudges. I think sometimes it is because we have unrealistic expectations of each other. We assume we will always think alike and we aren’t willing to do the work of unity.
So when you have a difficult conversation to have – what would it look like to start it with “Help me Understand”? I wonder if Solomon’s advice might look like this. By the way he is not saying let people take advantage of you or hurt you. He is saying in a heated situation a gentle answer has a better opportunity to bring about a resolution. Whether it is a conversation with our children or a co-worker, a gentle answer give us the opportunity to make progress.
Think about it. When was the last time you were upset or angry about something and when you went to talk to that person it didn’t go well. Replay that moment and what would have happened if you approached it differently? It may have made a huge difference.
So let’s not be afraid to have difficult conversations. Let’s find ways to break through potentially messy moments with “Help Me Understand”. Let’s refuse to go about broken and find healing.
Jesus Follower, Husband, Father, and Pastor and trying to keep those in the right order....