Tag: anger

Civility, Civility, where art thou?

Last Thursday I wrote about my desire for my boys to live in a world of civility. The thought process started when Gavin said thank you to me after giving him a simple treat. I treasured the event. Given the grievous incident in Arizona, my wish for my boys grew even stronger.

Two wrongs don’t make a right
The Bible puts it this way: “A soft word takes away wrath.” I have no wish to take political sides on this blog. Even in irate anger, one can show the civility one so much desires. The political vitriol displayed lately is alarming. It is akin to fighting a fire with gasoline.

Evil and responsibility exist
There is evil and brokenness in life. Even with this, people are responsible for their own actions. Evil or brokenness is the root cause of tragedies such as happened in Arizona. Civility, compassion and graciousness are the greatest weapons against evil and brokenness. It’s what Jesus did.

Two prescriptions of civility:
1) Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger… Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. ~ Ephesians 4:26,29

2) This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. ~ James 1:19-20

The bottom line
We are responsible for our own actions. Anger is not wrong, but we must be prudent and thoughtful in how we exercise and work through our anger. For sure, in public discourse great restraint and gracious must be demonstrated. Truth can be declared without being inflammatory. Restraint isn’t a lack of authenticity or genuineness. Restraint  is an exercise of wisdom and humility. Our culture could use a large dose of both. These are skills I want my boys to have in abundance.

Conflict Part 1: Carefront or Confront?

Few people like conflict. It makes us feel uneasy, uncomfortable, nervous, scared. Conflict ranks just below teaching the Bible and prayer in top ministry activities. This week we will be looking at some principles related to conflict and how to manage it. Today, we will look at Carefronting vs Confronting. This addresses the mindset we have in conflict.

The difference
Goal: Reconciliation
Focus: Loving the person
Attitude: Humility or concern
Approach: Demonstrates concern for the person, seeks understanding

Goal: Justice
Focus: Changing the person
Attitude: Anger or pride
Approach: Demonstrates concern for the issue, seeks retribution

What carefronting is not
Carefronting is not the absence of: anger, the need for change, justice or frustration. Those things are natural to conflict. Carefronting does not mean one is a softy or a push over. Carefronting does not mean sweeping something under the rug.

We really want payback
We love angry tirades! Let’s admit it: Jesus clearing the temple or chastising the Pharisees seems exciting to us. We love the emotional release of anger and vengeance. After all, the Bible instructs us to be separate, be holy, be pure. The Bible has a word for that approach from His own: arrogance. “Vengeance is mine, says the LORD.” The struggle of conflict is the dark side of our soul. We want payback, God wants reconciliation. Take a minute to read 1 Corinthians 13. Circle the words that relate to conflict. Does payback fit love? Does our thirst for the emotional release of anger and vengeance fit this passage? Carefronting is demonstrating love. Love is hard!

Carefronting is meekness
Power under control defines meekness. Example: God sent Jesus as payment for our sin. He could have easily killed off the human population like He did in the flood. God has the power to do that. God instead took the John 3:16 approach. That is meekness. Carefronting is approaching the problem with the goal of restoration.

Seeds not Redwoods
Seeds are small and powerless. Redwoods are massive, with deep roots, and will likely cause damage when they fall.

Carefronting best starts before something becomes an issue (the seed). Conflicts explode because we often do not want to take action early before something is a problem. If you hate conflict, deal with things early and you will avoid many, but you will never avoid all.  To deal with seeds means we need to get over ourselves. Carefronting starts with care. If we truly love and care about someone, we start early, not later.

Bottom line:
Carefronting is speaking the truth in love. Carefronting is bearing one another’s burdens. Look at Carefronting vs Confronting again. If you are in a conflict, which mindset are you pursuing? Carefronting is about living Ephesians 4:32:

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”