Something insulting is said. It may be intentional or just a thoughtless comment coming from an ignorant person. It makes no difference. It hurts and may even make you angry. What is your first response? Do you roll your eyes or make a gesture that displays your unbelief? Maybe you make eye contact with a close friend who will share your reaction.
Some people are composed enough to make an appropriate, but wise comment that gently puts the person in their place. Not me. My normal reactions are rash, blunt, and definitely not conciliatory. My face shows what I think and my quick words verify my thoughts.
I do not like this characteristic. If only I could be cool, calm, and collected even when the comment or action takes me by surprise. My failure is not because of not trying. I have told myself to shut my mouth and to look the other way or leave the room many times. It does not work. My anger or hurt is always evident in my body language.
My prayers recently have been for God to grant me patience and empathy for others. I must report that I am improving—even if it is very slowly. Maybe by the time I am ninety-five my actions and words will reflect God’s love, patience, and wisdom when difficult people damage my ego.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. James 1:26
Lord, give me the ability to keep my mouth shut. May I wisely say only the words that will reflect you love and your wisdom.