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Plug the Dam

Proverbs 17:14 (NKJV)
The beginning of strife is like releasing water;
Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.

Man, is this proverb ever true! It always suprises me how much stuff people supress (including me). If you ever want to discover what issues people have with you, get in an argument with them about something. Not too far into it, whatever problems were once held back come flooding out even if it's unrelated to the issue at hand. We (people) can help it. Once the plug is pulled, it's hard to control what comes flooding out.

This proverb instructs to stop contentions before it goes to the next level, but how? First, steer clear of anger (Ephesians 4:31). Just get rid of it. Don't let stuff back up and clog the pipes of the heart.

Then there's the responsibility to walk in self-control (Proverbs 29:11; Galatians 5:22-26). I don't know why I give myself permission to "vent." The scripture says that's foolishness.

When it does come time to confront something, love has to be the boundary for the conversation. The truth does need to be spoken, but both restrained by the speaker and filtered by the hearer through love (Ephesians 4:15).

Issues, problems, misunderstandings are an unavoidable part of life with each other. It takes faith and trust with a healthy dose of self-control to keep them from blowing up. Funny thing is, if conflict is navigated correctly, it becomes a shaping force in one's life, not a destructive one.

Lord, secure the walls of my heart. Help me not to let the pressure internally become disasterous to those around me. Strengthen me, heal me, forgive me, so that I can walk clean with those around me.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 16, 2008 6:11 AM.

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