Thinking Before We Respond
What’s your first reaction when someone makes you angry? Do you tend to raise your voice or get defensive? Do you default to cursing?
We need to pause before we respond. Delay is a tremendous remedy for anger.
I don't mean delaying indefinitely. Anger delayed indefinitely becomes bitterness and that's worse than anger. Bitterness is always a sin, anger isn't. But we need to deal with it after a while.
If we react impulsively, we're going to tend to respond in anger. If we wait a little bit and we let it cool, and then we begin to talk about it, we're going to be more rational, more reasonable.
So, when conflict arises and you give yourself time to think, what should you think about? Consider these five questions:
T: Is it truthful? Is what I’m about to say the truth?
H: Is it helpful? Or will it simply harm the other person?
I: Is it inspirational? Does it build up or does it tear down?
N: Is it necessary? If it’s not necessary, why do I need to say it?
K: Is it kind?
THINK before you speak. Reflect before you react. It’ll slow down your anger every time.
And, after you pause and think, seek to understand. The more we understand, the more understanding we'll be. If you come from a place of understanding why you are angry and understanding where the other person is coming from, you will be more gracious in your response.
Perhaps the other person is frustrated or scared. Maybe they have misinformation. Seek to understand as you begin down the path of reconciliation.