Last night, I became really irritated.  It usually takes a lot of aggravation to put me over the edge but I was certainlyclose to that point. The incident is immaterial but my reaction to it is the issue. How do you respond to situations that get out of control? Are you able to still reflect Christ in those volatile circumstances? We read that Jesus was angry and yet did not sin when he was in the temple with themoneychangers. I wonder how He managed to control hisexasperation. Was it easier because of the reason that caused the anger? Did the people respond in a way that was easier to accept? The verse in Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”whispered over and over in my mind yesterday as I vented my frustration and outrage on the phone.  His response on the other end, however, was spoken in a soft, modulated voice, full of apology and understanding. He listened to me, asked several questions and responded quietly. My anger dissipated like the swish of air coming from a releasedballoon and I was able to calm down and have a rationalconversation. As a result, we calmly discussed the situationand resolved the problem while keeping the relationshipintact. This incident is a good reminder for future confrontations: slow down, think before you speak, use a quiet voice, listen, apologize if necessary. I may have to call him again, but this time I will speak in my “quiet” voice.

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