31 Days of Proverbs: Day 17

“Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out.” Proverbs 17:14 (NLT)

Over the past few years, I have not been involved in many full-blown arguments. Have I had disagreements? Absolutely. But those conversations that end in tears, hurtful words and regret have become extremely rare.

For one, I’ve learned how to communicate more effectively. When you are aware of just how powerful your words are, and you have the desire to do well to others, you become mindful of what you’re saying. I went from a place of, “I’m mad. You’re wrong. And you need to know exactly how I feel,” to… “How can I express myself in a way that’s actually effective?”

There have been times when I’ve made a comment that I knew would trigger a strong reaction. But in that moment, all I cared about was my opinion, my feelings, my point. When we adjust our mindset from selfish to selfless – even in the midst of an emotional disagreement, real change happens.

This doesn’t mean you have be passive or let others walk all over you. It means that even in tough situations and hard conversations, you can express yourself and communicate in a way that is still gracious. What is one way you can communicate more effectively? What really pushes your buttons and tempts you to feel as though you must “win” an argument by any means? Is getting your point across more important than hurting a loved one? Ask God to for self-control, awareness and wisdom with communication.

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)

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