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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

Don't wrestle with pigs...
Date Posted: November 11, 2013

Sage advice from Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson. Who would want to wrestle with pigs?

Isn't that just what we do when we fire back at someone who has hurt our feelings, which is what Michael Hyatt is saying. It isn't worth the fight for Believers to jab and stab at every opportunity, is it. I have heard some folks wax on proudly that they have some great debating skills like being cutting with words is something to be proud of. Well, in my book it isn't. How could that edify the body?

Solomon has a great deal to say about self-control when anger threatens to take control...

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:18 A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.

Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.

Proverbs 20:2 The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion; Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life.

Proverbs 21:14 A gift in secret pacifies anger, And a bribe behind the back, strong wrath.

Proverbs 22:8 He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail.

Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, But who is able to stand before jealousy?

Ecclesiastes 5:17 All his days he also eats in darkness, And he has much sorrow and sickness and anger.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.

There is a big difference between self-control and avoiding conflict at the cost of principles or worse. I have seen some people back out of a discussion simply because they hate conflict even though a person's soul was at stake! That is not edifying the body either.

There has to be a "happy middle ground" somewhere and I'm not talking psychically. It comes in the form of words that build up rather than tear down. A calm voice of reason often has the ability to silence the loudest shout simply because of its softness. My kids would be screaming in the bathtub and I would go in talking softly in a mild voice or even a whisper and they would instantly hush because they wanted to hear what I was saying.

Of course, content was important, too. If I was just saying, "Hush, now. It's all right." They'd instantly begin their screaming all over again. But, if I started talking about a snack waiting for them at the table or a storybook I wanted to read them or some other child-interesting tidbit, they would hurriedly finish their purpose in the bath, all fusses with the other forgotten.

Sad, isn't it, that adults can't be distracted so easily. I find that adults have a tenacity of purpose when they are breathing anger and murder on their way down that road to Damascus that Paul traveled. (The blessing for Paul is that he met Jesus.) They veer neither to the right nor to the left and the puffs of fire-tinged smoke cloud about them, so cloudy sometimes that I cannot fathom what they are saying.

Therefore, I'm changing the sage advice to "Don't wrestle with pigs, or with bull dogs. You'll get muddy, and get bit. Neither of these is a comfortable state of being."

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Biography Information:
Gina Burgess has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training for almost three decades. (Don't tell her that makes her old.) She earned her Master's in Communication in 2013.

She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.

If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection

Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and eBookChristian.com
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