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When your emotions rise to the level of righteous indignation over something you feel strongly about, it can be easy to act or respond without fully thinking through the implications. If not handled with wisdom and tact, the result may be hurt feelings, damaged relationships, and a loss of influence.
Taking a step back allows the emotions to calm down with a clearer head and a more reasoned response. You may be fully justified in your knee jerk response and correct in your logic but the method or tone of communication could result in winning the argument but losing the other person’s trust or even willingness to engage with you.
Likewise, checking the intended course of action or response with a wise friend prior to doing anything provides perspective from someone without the same emotional investment in the situation. As you think through a response, read over James 3:17 and see if your response would pass the wisdom filter laid out in the passage.
Would your words or actions qualify as pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, and sincere? If not, there’s probably cause for reflection and re-evaluating before further steps are taken.
It should go without saying, of course, that prayer plays an instrumental role in walking wisely. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously to all without reproach and it will be given to him.” Take time to pray about the situation and what God would have you do.
Even though logically and practically the way you plan to respond may leave you in the right, He can guide you towards a more effective response that preserves a relationship and leaves open the opportunity for future interaction. Be cautious of allowing righteous indignation to take you down a path that results in regret. Let wisdom and grace filter everything you say and do and lead you to God's best.
In pursuit of His best,