First Congregational Church
305 N. Camburn
PO Box 926
Stanton, MI   48888
Ph. 989-831-5240

Love for Truth  *  Passion for Righteousness  *  Enthusiasm for Service


Open Door Newsletter

A Soft Answer Represents You

             -- Paul David Tripp (available on his website - Wednesday Word)           

              In that moment when opponents are screaming, tribes are fighting, arguments are escalating, the masses are debating, and no one is listening, there is power in a soft answer, there is strength in a tender heart, there is grace to be found in a measured response, there is mercy to be seen in a loving reply. There is only one enemy, not the person different from you, not the one who disagrees with you, not whoever disrespects you, not the one on the other side of the fence. The one true en my was defeated by One who was despised and rejected, misjudged and forsaken, condemned and mistreated. He won not by being louder, acting stronger, bigger threats, crafty words, stinging r torts, but by a sacrifice. The ultimate battle was won by a gentle, humble, loving, servant man. He silenced the enemy, not by being bigger and louder, but by laying down his life, because he loved his enemies.

               May the voice in my head not be louder than the voice of you. May my private conversation be interrupted by your words. When I think may I think of you. When my soul dreams may I dream after you. When I regret may it be conviction from you. When I celebrate may I rejoice in what comes from you. When I am distressed may I remember you. When temptations seduce may I run to you. When fears oppress may I find courage in you. When I celebrate may the praise go to you. When I serve may my love reveal you. When I speak may my words represent you. And in the end may the song of my life be a hymn to you.

1. When was the last time you were drawn into an argument? Why did you have the desire to engage in the fight and quarrel? What passions and desires were at war inside your heart? (See James 4:1)

2. Compare the progress made in a discussion or debate when harsh words are used instead of soft answers. How do you tend to react when harsh words are employed against you? How do others react when you treat them with respect and love, even in a difficult conversation?

3. Is there currently someone that you need to reach out to and confess recent harsh words? Why will this be a struggle?

4. How can you use loving and intentional words this week to incarnate the love of Christ to someone who does not yet know the Lord?