Dealing with people can be difficult. Imagine that? Several weeks ago, a friend shared an interchange she had with a person who has the potential to be somewhat of a challenge… In this case, he had told her something that just did not make sense. The facts were not adding up. I asked her a simple question. “Did you confront the inconsistencies in his story?” And her response? She said: “I can’t speak to him again until my patience returns.”
I was convicted immediately. How many times have I spoken before patience returned? My patience actually takes frequent vacations. I actually think he goes on extended cruises out of the country. And, he often leaves without any advance warning. I find myself in an awkward situation, and patience is nowhere to be found.
When I speak before patience returns, I say things I regret later. It’s during his absence that I snap at someone. And, when he not around, my communication becomes blunt and clipped. Anger is usually lurking in the shadows when patience fails to return in a timely manner.
My friend is on to something. It’s a good idea to wait for our patience to return before speaking into a situation. We are more likely to get our ideas across in a way that reduces conflict instead of fanning it. Tasks are completed in a timely manner. Friendships are preserved. Children are not wounded by words of anger spoken by their parents. We are far less likely to speak words that we may regret for a lifetime.
Are you dealing with a difficult person this week? Don’t speak until your patience returns…
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. -James 1:19-21