“A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.” Proverbs 15:1
It seems our society has forgotten how to “agree to disagree.” It is as if everyone is looking to defend their beliefs and positions, and heaven forbid they may be wrong. And, there are people who go into a conversation looking for an argument. It must be a low-self esteem thing—to have to bolster oneself up to a higher position by tearing down the other.
I worked with a young man who had a high sense of self. He could rant on forever on a topic dear to his heart—speaking quickly and without pause, as if frantic to tell everyone how right he was. If you tried to interject your insight, he would say, “Don’t interrupt me.” It was obvious he didn’t like being challenged. That kind of behavior makes me angry. I have something important to say, also. When this happens, the listener has two choices: interrupt and take control of the conversation or walk away. “No audience, no performance.”
Another great inspirational writer, Marianne Williamson, wrote in Everyday Grace, Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness, and Making Miracles this prayer:
Dear God, please remove from my mind my sense that I’m right and other people are wrong, my temptation to feel contempt toward those I disagree with, and this feeling of complete and utter powerlessness with my sense that the world is falling apart. Help me to forgive. And use me, if possible, that I might help to make things better. Amen.
And, I say, Amen.