I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Before Speaking or Writing–Think

On the death of commentator Rush Limbaugh, I am disturbed by the vitriol pouring out through media sources, even from those I know. It is disheartening to feel such hatred for a man who is now dead. The rejoicing is not that much different from terrorists in other countries who celebrated when the towers collapsed, and thousands died.

What happened to common decency and respect, if not for the dead, at least for the loved ones left behind? Whether a person is a pillar of the community or the dregs of society, death is not something in which to rejoice. Even terrorists are human beings. Yes, some criminals need to be stopped permanently. Still, death saddens me because it means the criminal, the terrorist, those who want to tear down instead of build-up will never have the chance to turn their lives around and become people who have positive rather than negative goals.

Do we really want to encourage this attitude in ourselves or others—like our children? Will we become so hateful our loved ones will sigh with relief, not grief when we pass on?  Thoughts matter. Attitudes matter. Words matter. Where we focus our thoughts will end up showing up in what we say and do? Focusing on real or supposed complaints, problems and situations, allow them to germinate into unresolved anger. Such anger spews out to everyone around us in one way or another.

Bottling up such anger without resolving it with truth, with rational thought and consideration or with forgiveness will burst out. We stop considering the consequences of our anger whether we feel justified in our anger or not. Responding in fury seldom solves the situation or problem

When a situation makes us furious. If we respond in anger, the incident will, most likely, escalate. When we’re furious, why not stop, think and consider short and long-term consequences before allowing anger to dictate our words and behavior–before we speak or act? If what we say does not accuse or add fuel to the fire, most likely, the situation de-escalates, and we can deal rationally with the situation.

Though we live in a vengeful, payback, culture, we don’t have to feed into that philosophy. It is not God’s way and nor the way for a civilized society to behave. Want peace? Don’t nurture anger, feeding it like it is some sort of pet. Peace is a byproduct when we choose to show tolerance for opinions and voices outside their own, without forcing others to follow our way. When we cut off access to other voices, we narrow our own viewpoint. Peace at the point of silence or intimidation is not peace. That is a form of slavery.

I am not saying duck conflict. Stand up for truth, yes. Stand up for faith, family and freedom, but do it with the right spirit. Most of all, start by thinking before speaking, writing, texting and speak “soft” words to defuse.

These verses from the Bible are a blueprint for peace with truth.

Proverbs 15:1-2 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. (NIV)

Romans 12: 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (NASB 2020)

Are we going to spew anger and look like fools or think and consider before we speak or act (or pass something on in social media) and show ourselves wise, tolerant, civilized and persons of peace? Meanwhile, let us be kind and “…mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15 (NIV)

(C) 2021 Carolyn R Scheidies

Kearney Hub column 03/01/2021

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