Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
Make it your goal even in conflict to use “edifying” communication that encourages and builds others up. These are words that give “grace” (the desire, ability to do God’s will) to those who hear. They are other oriented, aimed at solving problems, not to win an argument. These are words that are timely and are spoken according to the need of the moment. They are centered on the issue at hand not yesterday’s conflict or one from 1 year ago or more.
Edifying communication has the goal of solving the problem- today’s problem – and not attacking the person you are in conflict with.
As you are speaking you must examine your own heart and do an examination for the sin logs you have contributed to the whole problem. This keeps you humble and keeps you from blameshifting your sin responsibility onto the other person. It also keeps your focus on solving the problem at hand and doing so in a loving manner.
Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6
It is true that some people are impossible to have a civil and decent conversation with. They refuse to operate under biblical principles and prefer to strike out and hurt in the midst of an argument. Regardless of the sin of the other person involved, you are obligated before the Lord to respond in a righteous manner. Don’t let their sin be your guide, stand up for what is honoring and glorifying to God.
What I am saying is don’t react in anger, especially if a person points out some way you have sinned against them. The natural tendency of our Gen. 3 nature is to be defensive about dealing with our own sins. We like to “help” other people see their sin issues, but prefer to not look at our own. When you are confronted by someone who has your best interests at heart, how do you respond? Are you defensive or humbled?
The truth is, despite how you feel you are commanded to put on communication that “acts” correctly regardless of what others have done [or might have done]. You can not excuse your bad behavior because of someone else’s bad behavior- that is called blameshifing
Instead you are to respond in these ways: be kind: benevolent, helpful, courteous, of good heartedness, compassionate, sympathetic, and forgiving- be willing to give up your right to or claim to revenge, hold a grudge or get even.
You, through God’s Spirit, must learn to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)
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