Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Silence Is One of the Hardest Arguments to Refute

Ruth Bell Graham tells a humorous story about her daughters, Anne and bunny.  When Ruth ran to the kitchen to investigate some loud cries, she found three-year-old Bunny holding her hand to her cheek, looking very disapprovingly at her sister.  "Mommy," explained five-year-old Anne, "I'm teaching Bunny the Bible.  I'm slapping her on one cheek and teaching her to turn the other one so I can slap it too."

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When we are wronged, our first response is more likely to fight back than to turn the other cheek.  But many have found that fighting back can be counterproductive.

Missionary E. Stanley Jones was being publicly slandered by someone he had once helped.  Jones' first response was to write his accuser a letter he relates was "the kind of reply you are proud of the first five minutes, the second five minutes you're not so certain, and the third five minutes you know you're wrong."

Jones knew his comments would win the argument, but lose the person.  "The Christian," he said, "is not in the business of winning arguments, but of winning people," and he tore up the letter.  A few weeks later--without having said a word--Jones received a letter of apology from the one who had turned on him.

Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 21:23

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