Stay calm

451, stay calmSeveral years ago, I was in Harare, Zimbabwe, to give church lectures. After I had lodged in my hotel, I took an afternoon walk through the streets of the bustling capital. One of the buildings in the city center attracted my attention because of its architectural style. I took some pictures when suddenly I heard someone yell, "Hey! Hey! Hey you there! "When I turned around, I looked directly into the angry eyes of a soldier. He was armed with a rifle and turned it on me with anger. Then he started bumping into my chest with the muzzle of his rifle yelling at me, "This is a security area - it's forbidden to take pictures here!" I was very scared. A security area in the middle of the city? How could that happen? The people stopped and stared at us. The situation was tense, but strangely, I was not afraid. I said calmly, "I'm sorry. I did not know that this is a security area. I will not take pictures anymore. "The soldier's aggressive screaming continued, but the louder he screamed, the more I lowered my voice. Again I apologized. Then something amazing happened. He, too, gradually lowered his volume (and his rifle!), Changed his tone, and listened to me instead of attacking me. After some time we had a rather enjoyable conversation, which finally ended with showing me the way to the local bookstore!

When I went away and returned to my hotel, a well-known saying came to mind again and again: "A lew answer answers the anger" (Spr 15,1). Through this bizarre incident I had experienced the dramatic effect of the wise words of Solomon. I also remembered saying a concrete prayer this morning, which I will share with you later.

In our culture it is not common to give a lame answer - rather it is the opposite. We are urged to "let out our feelings" and to "say what we feel". The Bible passage in Proverbs 15,1 seems to encourage us to put up with everything. But any fool can scream or insult. It takes a lot more character to meet an angry person with calm and gentleness. It's about being Christ-like in our daily lives (1, Joh 4,17). Is not that easier said than done? I have learned (and are still learning!) Some valuable lessons when dealing with an angry person and using a lame answer.

Pay it back to the other with the same coin

Is not that the case when you argue with someone, then the other will try to fight back? If the opponent makes cutting comments, then we want to trim him. If he screams or yells, then we scream even louder. Everyone wants to have the last word, land one final hit or put a final blow. But if we just go back our guns and try not to prove to the other that he is wrong and not aggressive, then the other often calms down quickly. Many disputes can become even more heated or defused by the type of response we give.

Wrongly placed trouble

I also learned that something is not always what we think when someone seems to be angry with us. The crazy driver who cut you off today did not wake up this morning with the intention of driving you off the road! He does not even know you, but he knows his wife and is mad at her. Coincidentally, you were just in the way! The intensity of this anger is often disproportionate to the significance of the event that led to its eruption. Common sense is replaced by anger, frustration, disappointment and hostility towards the wrong people. That's why we're dealing with an aggressive driver on the road, a rude cashier, or a screaming boss. They are not the ones they are mad at, so do not take their anger personally!

As man thinks in his heart, so is he

If we want to respond to an angry person with a linden answer, our heart's posture must first be right. Sooner or later our thoughts will usually be reflected in our words and behaviors. The Book of Proverbs teaches us that "the heart of a wise man is characterized by clever speeches" (Spr 16,23). As a bucket of water draws from a well, the tongue absorbs what is in the heart and spills it out. If the source is clean, that's what the tongue is talking about. If it is contaminated, the tongue will speak unclean. When our minds are contaminated with bitter and angry thoughts, our knee-jerk reaction to an angry person will be harsh, insulting, and rewarding. Note the saying: "A slight answer quells the wrath; but a hard word arouses Grimm "(Spr 15,1). Internalize it. Solomon says, "Always keep them in mind and keep them in your heart. Because who has found them, they bring life and are wholesome for his whole body "(Spr 4,21-22 NGÜ).

Whenever we meet someone who is angry, we have a choice of how we respond to him. However, we can not do this on our own and try to act accordingly. This brings me to my above-stated prayer, "Father, put your thoughts in my mind. Put your words on my tongue so that your words become my words. In your grace, help me today for others like Jesus. "Angry people appear in our lives when we least expect them. Be prepared.

by Gordon Green

pdfStay calm