A person’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 (NASB)
Whether in dating, marriage, family, schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, churches, social media, etc., conflict is unavoidable. And it seems to be getting worse.
Is there any way out?
This technique won’t work in all conflicts, but it can defuse many. It’s simply choose to overlook the offense.
“But isn’t that just being a meek doormat for the world to step on?” you ask? There’s a huge difference.
A “doormat” is a weak, passive person, who has no sense of “agency,” and just waits for life to “happen” to him or her. A doormat is a victim or martyr.
In contrast, overlooking an offense is a deliberate choice, an act of the will. It comes from a person who is emotionally strong and healthy, who takes life by the throat, and refuses to play the victim card.
Yes, there are serious abuses that harm others or spread injustice. Those we should not passively overlook, but rather confront and try to stop if we can. However, be honest with yourself and think about the things that annoy you. How many are truly moral issues, versus frustrations or rudeness that rubs you the wrong way?
So, when someone cuts you off in traffic, rather than getting mad or God forbid flying into road rage, instead pray this: “Lord, please help that person who may be angry or else in a big hurry.” When someone is rude to you, instead of snapping back, take a deep breath, smile, and say, “I hope you have a wonderful day.” And then pray for that unhappy person.
Of course, in our human flesh this is hard if not impossible. Invite Jesus Christ to be your Lord and savior, repent of your sins, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and let God’s life begin to pour through your life. Live the life of faith through God’s power, not your own.
The choice is yours. Feel the positive power!
Take the next step: When you feel anger rising in you and you feel insulted, slow down and ask yourself: is this worth responding to? Or can I just be the bigger person and let it drop?
Go deeper: Read “How and when should we overlook an offense?”