A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Proverbs 25:11 ESV
When I taught First Grade, I would always read The Quarreling Book by author Charlotte Zolotow and illustrator Arnold Lobel. The book’s setting is within a family household and the story takes place early one morning. The narrative shows how anger is passed from person to person. It ends on a good note though, the little dog starts a chain of happy events and soon everyone is in a better frame of mine. My students would almost always catch on to what was happening and they would smile from ear-to-ear.
I share this to show that while it is a children’s storybook, we all need to read it from time to time. I’m sure you, like me, have been the person passing on the anger, and also the little dog who starts the happy trend. I want to be the happy, yappy doggie in this story. We all need to strive to be that doggie. Why? Because a wrong word or comment is like throwing a match on gasoline; it’s bound to cause combustion.
So what’s a person to do? After all, none of us are perfect. I read recently that each morning we should ask the Holy Spirit to control our thoughts and our words for the day. Because a life lived in the Spirit is a life worth living. I. Like. That. Idea.
I decided to see what the Bible says about getting along. After all, there’s so much to argue about right now—Is Covid real or are they making it up? All those people didn’t die from Covid; Mask up or don’t mask up; You’re messing with my freedom; Should we be sending the children to school or keeping them home? THE ELECTION, and on and on it goes. Now, let’s take a look at those Scriptures and see what we find.
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 2 Timothy 2:23 NIV
Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Philippians 2:14 CEV
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19 NLT
“Be angry, and do not sin:” do not let the sun go down on your wrath. Ephesians 4:26 NKJV
But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:8-10 NIV
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 NIV
Wow! I don’t know about you, but my toes got stepped on multiple times. Can we do it? God must think we can with His help. He’s encouraging us. It will be a struggle, more for some than for others, depending on our personalities. But it is something we should be striving for. When we fall short, we can pick ourselves up, ask for forgiveness, and seek to do better. What is it they say? A day laced in prayer won’t unravel. Therein my friend is the key—prayer. So before we combust, let’s resolve to say that prayer: “Holy Spirit, this moment, control my thoughts and control my words. Amen.”