3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Tempted to Climb That Soapbox {Plus a Fun Giveaway}

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I come from a long line of opinionated people. When you get my family together, there’s bound to be a clash of views, but most of the time we’re able to walk away with smiles and laughter.

Usually, the subject is as miniscule as college football, but every now and then it’s more serious. I remember one adventure when we were visiting a National Park in Moab, Utah and a family member who shall remain nameless insisted on taking an off-road route to see the arches. They were in a mini-van, but the route’s sign “highly recommended” a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Needless to say, after a few miles a park ranger coming in the opposite direction suggested we turn around. We were able to get back on the paved road and see all the main attractions without getting stuck, but there where a few times when the little van was scraping rock.

We’re able to look back on the incident now and chuckle, but disputes with loved ones don’t always end this way, do they? When we feel attacked, it’s difficult to put aside our emotions.

All too often, I see an issue as black and white when in fact, there are many shades of gray. I want to have the last word and race down an ugly path of pride and narrow-mindedness instead of trying to see the other person’s point of view.

Even when I’m speaking truth, I sometimes forget about love. Instead of trusting the Spirit to speak to someone’s heart, I try to chisel away at it with words that are callous and hurtful.

Friends, there is only one person who can open a person’s heart and mind to God’s truth. He is the Spirit, and he doesn’t speak through resounding gongs and cymbals. We are his vessels, but when we approach others with a voice of pride we accomplish nothing.

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There is a reason why scripture warns about controlling the tongue so many times. Because it truly does have the power of life and death.

Whether the issue is big or small, we will never agree with everyone on everything. And you know what? That is good. We were never intended to. But we can learn to approach disagreements in a Christ-like way.

I am a work in progress and on this side of eternity, I always will be. Through the arguments and the heartache, here are three questions his Spirit prompts me to ask when my blood pressure rises.

  1. Do I love this person? This is a question my pastor asked a few years ago and it stuck with me. If the answer is “no” then walk away. Even if you are speaking truth, any words that are not spoken with love will accomplish nothing.
  1. Is this my pride talking, or am I speaking the truth out of love? If I can’t find scripture, wise counsel or experience to back what I’m saying, then I may be speaking out of a pure need to be right. And what’s right for me may not be right for every other person on the planet.
  1. Am I giving this person grace or exercising judgment? While it is healthy to create boundaries, there is only one person who sits in the judgment seat, friends. It isn’t you or me, but Christ alone. Let us hand over the gavel to the One who can handle its weight.

I know there will be days when I’m tempted to climb on my soapbox. But you know what? The words I preach from there seldom do any good, unless you count the boost to my ego.

Arguments will happen and tempers will flare, but we can control the way we handle ourselves. Let’s reflect the mindset of the Creator, even when we’re tempted to let callous words fly.

 

GIVEAWAY!

sept-16-giveawayAs a thank you to my lovely readers I’m giving away two fun gifts: a power bank, which can be used to wirelessly charge your smart phone, iPod, camera, etc. and a Hope & Joy mirror keychain! Just comment below and share this post for extra entries. (if you shared the post on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. please let me know in your comment) I’ll announce the winner next Thursday! Giveaway is for U.S. residents only.

 

 

 

Linking up with these communities: #ThoughtProvokingThursday

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15 thoughts on “3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Tempted to Climb That Soapbox {Plus a Fun Giveaway}

  1. This is very spot on. It is so hard control your tongue. Too often we say things we later regret. I guess we all have to learn to think before we speak. You cannot take back words any more than you can unring a bell. Thank you. God bless! I am sharing this on Twitter & Facebook.

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    • Thank you, Elaine. I have been both on the giving and receiving end, and I think it takes a lifetime to learn when to practice restraint. Social media makes it so easy, too! Thanks for visiting today!

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  2. I love your raw honesty here, Abby! Your thought-provoking questions are as equally awesome. Thank you for sharing today! Sweetest blessings to you! 🙂

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  3. Wow is all I can say. (And I think you come from a family like mine. 🙂 Everyone can tell you everything you need to know and more on every subject. And they’re always right about everything. 🙂 ) I love your three questions at the end.

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  4. Abby, I’m a law school grad and worked as a litigator ….and I’ve been learning how to put a guard over my lips for a long time! Your last suggestion is spot on, friend. All three really. Love this!

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  5. Oh how I need a power bank for my phone but I would have commented on this post anyway Abby! I remember getting pulled into the principal’s office in High School because of something I said in jest to another student. She was in the bathroom crying and I had no idea! I will stick to giving my family members a hard time going forward as we do this in love. Seriously though, our words can heal people’s wounds but also cut to the heart. I absolutely love your 3 tips /questions we need to ask ourselves. The big one for me is I no longer have the need to be right! I really love what you share here and may we all be aware of our words when we jump up on that soapbox! Have a wonderful weekend and may God richly bless you and yours!

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  6. Hello Abby, Wonderful post! I left you a comment but I forgot to put I shared on Twitter and my Inspiration Board. Thank you for sharing this wisdom! Have a fantastic weekend and blessings to you and yours!

    On Thu, Sep 8, 2016 at 5:01 AM, Fearfully Made Mom wrote:

    > Abby posted: ” I come from a long line of opinionated people. When you get > my family together, there’s bound to be a clash of views, but most of the > time we’re able to walk away with smiles and laughter. Usually, the subject > is as miniscule as college football, but” >

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  7. Such important thoughts for us to remember, especially in conversations with family. When we step back and let the Holy Spirit guide our words (and in some cases, help us keep from spilling them out,) we can rest assured that God is working in His way and His timing to touch hearts and change lives. Thanks Abby!

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