It is always slightly disturbing to find that someone has misunderstood us or disagrees with how we act or think, but how can we respond in a godly way?
1. Think before you speak or act in response to criticism or disagreement. Proverbs 15:28 says "The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil."
2. Make sure that you really understand what the person is saying. "He who answers before listening- that is his folly and his shame." Proverbs 18:13
3. Respond politely and with humility. Even if they are in the wrong, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1
4. Never respond out of annoyance, or by saying something rude about the other person, even if it is true. "A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult." Proverbs 12:16
5. If you have been falsely 'accused' of something, Proverbs 12:19 says "Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment."
6. If you are the one who sees something wrong in someone else, pray about it before you say anything. You never know how you can hurt someone. "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18. "The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful." Proverbs 12:22.
For the most part, God is the one who must convict someone of their sin, and your part is to pray, not accuse. If you think that you must say something, be very, very, sure that you love the person as Jesus would have you, and that what you are going to tell them is the truth.
7. Never gossip about something that someone did wrong to you. It is ok to talk to your parents, or to a close friend if you need to talk about it, but don't just go 'blabbing it' to anyone you meet. "A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly." Proverbs 12:23
8. And lastly, if someone has showed you something in yourself that you see is a problem, change it! :-) "He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored." Proverbs 13:18
Here are a few more verses that have been helpful to me. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Proverbs 27:6
"Anger is cruel and fury is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?" Proverbs 27:4
"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." James 1:19-20
(Have you noticed that I love the book of Proverbs?) :-)
I also have a new poll up, so feel free to vote. Here are the results from the last one.
What do you think when you hear the word "Modesty"?
It's interchangeable with "Frumpy"
It's just an attitude
Beautiful skirts and dresses
A way of moving
Other (leave a comment and explain)
Perhaps I should do a post on why modesty and what it is sometime. ;-)