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Tuesday, 15 March 2011


I try to shut-up when I am annoyed or cross. Words spoken in the heat of the moment
are often hurtful, painful and damaging. AND CANNOT BE TAKEN BACK.  Saying sorry does not take away the sting or hurt unleashed by a few minutes rage. 

Avoid emails, texts, letters, words, fired off in the grip of a red haze. If words must be said, let those words be said calmly and lovingly after a period of reflection once the anger has passed.

The bible says ‘Let your words be seasoned with salt’. Now every African who loves their spices knows that food aint sweet if there is no salt in it! LOL. However, no-one seeks to spice up their delicious meat and tomato stew with lashings of vinegar. So also, let your words be seasoned with sweetness at all times and to everyone you speak to. This doesn’t preclude speaking the truth in love - it just means don’t spew out bitterness in hatred, and then call it truth. Or love.

A beautiful friendship, a loving union, a parent-child relationship built up over years can be torn apart and have the roof of trust and warmth ripped off  by repeated and constant bouts of uncontrolled words, a nasty temper, a desire to hurt and get one’s own back, a lashing out in frustration. Repeated continual bouts of rage and anger can shake the foundations of a wonderful relationship. Bitterness can eat away like acid and angry words can bore away like wood-worm until a house caves in on itself.

Be liberal with praise and stingy with rebuke.  Be quick to complement and slow to criticize. Find the good in everyone and verbally celebrate them . When you clearly negative traits, be gentle with the other person's  weaknesses and take them in prayer before God.  Remember the person you speak to might not remember a compliment you give but will recall your hasty criticism years later. Cover your loved one's shame and do not expose their weaknesses to the watching world. Be understanding when another has got it wrong and build-up the self-esteem of the damaged.

So how do we react if one is the ‘ragee’ or’ rager’?

If you are the one who has lashed out (and continues doing so repeatedly, stop thinking and believing your fits of anger and tantrums will cause the other person to change. Turn to God and repent; uncontrolled anger is sinful and damaging. Apologise to those you have hurt – and please say none of that - ‘If my words hurt you, then I am sorry’. C’mon! Man (or Woman) up and take responsibility for your actions. “I hurt you – I am sorry. I have trouble holding unto my temper. It is my fault. I should never have spoken to you that way. I regret what I said/did and hope you’ll forgive me.” Take responsibility and do not offer lame-a** excuses.

If you are the one who has suffered the brunt of another’s anger –  be gracious when/if the other person apologises. Do not rehash the scene endlessly and keep harping on what they said. Offer forgiveness even before an apology if made – and still forgive even if no apology is ever made. Bitterness and hurt feelings only corrode the soul of the person feeling that bitterness.

So, best advice I can give myself or anyone is – when you are angry, hurt or upset, whether it is justified or not – SHUT-UP!

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