- (Photo: Preaching Rocket via The Christian Post)
We're called to demonstrate patience in times of conflict. As believers, we have an obligation to exhibit this quality because God knows there is great power in showing restraint. Our natural tendency is to shout back when we are wrongly accused, but to reflect Christ, we must choose a different path. We should:
• Stay quiet when verbally attacked. A person's anger can feed our own and lead to a shouting match. Instead, we should allow him to have his say.
• Listen without responding. In our silence, it may be easy to mentally shut out the verbal assault, but we should listen to the other person's concerns.
• Pray for whoever is attacking. We probably do not feel like praying, but feelings often get in the way of what God would have us do.
• Control our thoughts. It can be tempting to dwell on the injustice of a situation instead of focusing on God and what He thinks of us.
• Control our emotions. We're to rely on the Holy Spirit to give right responses.
• Be ready to forgive. We are to be patient when wronged and willing to release our hurt (2 Tim. 2:24).
• Speak encouraging words. It's good to express appreciation when someone brings a concern to our attention-and to ask forgiveness if we've made a mistake.
To our human flesh, these practices may seem foolish and ineffective, but in fact, the opposite is true. There's great power in patience because so few practice it well. Responding rightly makes an impression on non-believers, who'll notice something in you that they also want.