Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.–Eph. 4:31-32
It would be good if we all began every day by reading these verses. It would be better if there was no need to do so! But, the fact is that none of us are that holy– we need such daily reminders. So, just as an experiment, would you try this— commit yourself to reading these two verses first thing every morning for the next week, and then pray for ten seconds each time asking God to help you do as He commands? How about it? It can’t hurt anything and it just might help a lot. If it enabled you to avoid just one argument it would be well worth the effort.
J. R. Miller wrote, “A wise man says, ‘Every man takes care that his neighbors shall not cheat him—but a day comes when he begins to care—that he does not cheat his neighbors. Then all goes well.’ So long as a man sees only the quarrelsome temper of his neighbor—he is not far toward holiness. But when he has learned to watch and to try to control his own temper, and to weep over his own infirmities—he is on the way to Christ-likeness, and will soon be conqueror over his own weakness!
Life is too short to spend even one day of it in bickering and strife! Love is too sacred to be forever lacerated and torn by the ugly briers of sharp temper! Surely we ought to learn to be loving and patient with others—since God has to show every day such infinite patience toward us! Is not the very essence of true love—the spirit that is not easily provoked, that bears all things? Can we not, then, train our life to sweeter gentleness? Can we not learn to be touched even a little roughly, without resenting it? Can we not bear little injuries, and apparent injustices, without flying into a rage? Can we not have in us something of the mind of Christ, which will enable us, like him, to endure all wrong and injury and give back no word or look of bitterness? The way over which we and our friend walk together, is too short to be spent in wrangling.”