A fool gets into constant fights. His mouth is his undoing. His words endanger him. Men have died for saying the wrong thing. A wise man restrains his anger and overlooks insults. This is to his credit. A soft answer turns away wrath. (Proverbs 18:6-7,21; 19:ll; 15:1)
#6 Don’t speak too quickly – listen first. He who thinks twice has only half as much to say. When you are upset at what your parents say, or how they say it, count to ten before answering back. And while you’re counting, continue listening. Did you really hear what Mom or Dad is trying to tell you? Why do you think God gave you two ears but only one mouth, if not to be a better listener? “Let every man be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to wrath” (James 1:19).
#7 Don’t delay reconciliation. “Don't let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26). Some speak their piece far too quickly, but speak words of peace far too slowly – or not at all!
#8 Don’t fight anger with anger. “The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). You may fight fire with fire, but you cannot answer anger with anger and expect peace to follow.
#9 Earn for yourself a guilt-free future, where you will have NO REGRETS about how you’re living now. Live life in the present based on lessons of the past, but always with a view to the future. Try to imagine the long-range effect of the actions, attitudes and words you are giving and exchanging now. If you don't like what you see with your mind’s eye, ask God to help you make the necessary changes now.
#10 Living with a man won’t be all that different from living with a mom. How will you handle the sandpaper friction you will inevitably experience from time to time with your mate? Whatever strategy you think might work then, with him, put into practice now, with her. If it doesn’t work now, it won’t work then. If your strategy needs tweaking, tweak it! – then try it again. The Japanese people endure a very constricted and confined living space, where they could so readily rub each other the wrong way – but they don’t! Indeed, they get along quite well, with kin and stranger alike. What’s their secret? “If you don’t want to kill, learn to be still.”
Most teens still love and are loved by their parents, and yet you’d never know it by the way they act and talk around each other. But this kind of love grows and thrives when we “accept one another” (see May 29) and when we “bear with one another” (see April 27). Such a love will “cover a multitude of sins" (I Pet. 4:8).
Bits & Pieces from Japan
8 years ago