Be of good report. Read God’s Word to convict of all, that isn’t pure, true, of good report.
Be free enough in your spirit to apologise, when you are wrong, especially when it’s brought to your attention and the Holy Spirit in you is agreeing to what is being said, about your words, tone of voice, attitude, body language, facial expressions and deeds.
Sounds like a lot? Hmm…
But how many times have we been offended by what wasn’t said or done, but was implied?
Infact, it seems we are more offended by body language, attitude and other non-verbal expressions, than an actual offensive word.
I think more than what we verbalize, we should be more conscious and conscientious of what we communicate non-verbally.
When you hear people speak these days, it’s like they read the Bible to justify what they’re doing. And that in itself is dangerous and too self-serving for what God’s Word is meant to be.
What is the Word of God meant to do?
- To edify,
- To build,
- To rebuild,
- To reorientate,
- To reconstruct,
- To sculpt,
- To perfect,
- To purify,
- To sanctify
- To uplift
- To humble
- To mirror
- To point out
- To convict
- To inspire repentance
I can go on and on. But the meat of it is, not to criticize, bash, control, subdue, manipulate, or blackmail another person.
- Be respectful to All — children, young, old, mates; irrespective of age and status.
- Be respectful, or at least try to be respectful when under provocation, in unfair situations, or even disrespect towards you. Not because they deserve respect but because you are a respectful person.
- Don’t talk at people. Talk to them.
- Take it another step further: Try as much as possible to refrain from talking to people;
- Instead talk with people.
- And most preferably, communicate in an engaging manner with people.
- Stop taking the bait. You’re not a fish. And whatever happens to a fish who takes the bait? It gets hooked and dragged towards its death. Now let’s bring it home. Someone says something unkind about who or what you care deeply about. The natural instinct is to rise in defence. However, that is not always wise, because the unkind words were deliberate to draw you into a fight. This is not always the case, but it’s mostly true. Especially if the person saying it, doesn’t like you, or the person is generally unpleasant. In that case, why bother? Just ignore the person. If an objective person asks you for details, reply calmly using polite words. You’re not under any obligation to fight anyone, especially when they’re being hostile to you based on something you have and they don’t.
- Choose your battles wisely according to their level of importance and priority. Stop allowing yourself to be dragged into an unnecessary fight of no eternal value.
Once you know the why behind the what, it’s very easy to be at peace.
When you are certain of your beliefs and you know who you are, you feel less inclined to be on the defensive.
The difference between those that are easily baited into defensiveness and those who respond with calm silence, is that the former’s believe in the truth of the subject matter is shaky, and therefore thinks speaking up will uphold the truth. While the latter understands that the truth will speak for itself.
In other words, why defend what is stronger than you? But when you see yourself as the pillar of something or someone, you easily get offended, over-sensitive and defensive.
Let’s try to be at peace with all men. If that fails, at least we are at peace with the knowledge that we have tried.
However, let’s affirm that being at peace with others doesn’t include bending over backwards to accommodate the wishes of others.
But it means, to choose your battles and maintain a respectful firmness in the face of constant opposition.