Years ago, I heard a teaching by the late Jack Frost entitled, “Would You Rather Be Right or in Relationship?” That title, as well as its message, became branded to my soul, for I’ll never be able to escape that sobering, truth-filled question.
Upon receiving a smart retort by a familiar sales clerk, someone I deal with on a regular basis, I was halted by that question. My flesh wanted to call to her attention that she had been extremely rude to me–and wanted to question her as to how could we converse regularly, if she was going to act that way? I had the speech prepared…you know, scriptures included.
Bob Sorge writes: “David bested Goliath with a stick and five stones.” [I Samuel 17:43 reads: “So the Philistine said to David, ‘Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?'”] Sorge continues: “Jesus bested Satan with a stick and five wounds. Neither used the weapons of his opponent.”
‘Bested’ defined means surpassing all others in excellence, with grace.
Relationships can take many twists and turns; and, out from them can come some challenges in conversation. Our flesh immediately crawls and insists upon its way in reacting to opposing, even aggravating words. Yet, the choice must be made, to return to the burning question above: right? or in relationship?
If that original question doesn’t set a boundary line around my crawling flesh, the statement quoted by Sorge does: “Neither used the weapons of his opponent.” The Word of God, forever true, settles it once and for all:
“1A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. 2The tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness. 3The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. 4A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. [Proverbs 15:1]