Sunday 8 December 2013


How to defuse tension in an argumentthe 4S approach

Disagreement and quarrels may lead to outbursts of temper. Beyond throwing dagger-like glances at the other party, people may even lunge at one another with daggers.  How can we avoid such a potentially explosive situation?


1. Saturate yourself with God’s wisdom

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 
(James 3:17).

It is helpful to check ourselves: Are we deficient in these attributes of godly wisdom? By espousing His wisdom, we can avoid getting carried away in the heat of an argument.

2. Stop it at the source

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
(Proverbs 17:14, NIV).
Beginning a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
(Proverbs 17:14, NLT).

If you sense that a disagreement is making no headwayand both sides are not willing to give inback off before it escalates into something undesirable.

3. Soften your approach

A soft answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
    but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
    keeping watch on the evil and the good.
A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
    but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
(Proverbs 15:1-4)

The volume and tone of our voice matter when we are getting our point across to the other party.

4. Say sorry

If we fail to adhere to the steps above and lose our composure, we should apologise. It takes humility to admit we have offended someone.

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
(James 4:6).

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
(Matthew 5:9)
How can we be positive about disagreement?

While it is important to be humble and tolerant to get along well with others, we should not compromise the truth for the sake of unity. 

We also need to remember that one may win an argument but it is useless if one loses a long-term relationship.

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