A soft answer turns away an angry response and makes room for God’s thoughts and feelings inside of us to gain a window of opening in the listener’s mind and heart.
A good question to ask oneself is “am I just venting my own thoughts, ideas and desire for control, or am I striving to turn the attention of the listener to the Holy Spirit so that he may express his own feelings, thoughts and desired outcome through my yielded mouth and mind?” 2 timothy 2 23 – 26 I like that word in the King James peradventure. It isn’t my job to make the listener listen or agree even to the wisdom of God, it is God’s job to bring the truth home and my job to not get in his way. An excellent tool in allowing the other to get past their attitudes and consider another approach is THE APPEAL
To let them save face before we suggest that their approach needs to change, we start by saying
I LIKE YOUR GOOD GOAL OF———————————————-. followed by letting them know that we have seen and noted their efforts towards the good goal.
I APPRECIATE ALL YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE TOWARD THE GOAL SUCH AS————————————————————. (Be specific)
I SEE WHY THIS GOAL IS SO IMPORTANT TO YOU BECAUSE——————————————————————-. (We must show that we are aware of the legitimate reasons why they may be hesitant to change)
(We now start to build teamwork)
I HAVE THE SAME GOOD GOAL AND HAVE DONE THE FOLLOWING TOWARDS SUPPORTING IT—————————-(If the Lord convicts you of undermining their good goal because you don’t like their approach then apologize)
(see the separate discussion on a godly apology)
I AM CONCERNED THAT THE CURRENT APPROACH MIGHT NOT ACCOMPLISH THE GOOD GOAL BECAUSE————————————————————
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TRYING—————————-INSTEAD, OR DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER IDEA THAT WOULD WORK EVEN BETTER?
I’D BE WILLING TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT YOUR EFFORTS TOWARDS THE GOOD GOAL BY———————————————————-.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
The other person may try to turn the discussion into an argument about who is smarter or has done more or who is going to win. Just bring them back to your concern about the goal and to talking about what would work.
Read Daniel 1: 5-20 and put his approach into the above tool
Melzar, I know that you want us to have shiny faces and to be happy and impress the King
I realize that you have gone out of your way to corner the market on the best meat in town, the meat good enough to offer to the gods and that is fresh. You’ve done this to please your students and keep them happy. Thank you for your effort.
I realize that if we don’t look happy, well fed and shiny that you could be beheaded.I’d never want to do anything to endanger you.
I’d like to point out that I’ve worked harder than any other student to succeed and co-operate and to make you look good and cause the other students to thrive.
My only concern is that we Israelite students have been commanded by our God not to eat meat offered to idols. If we did then our faces would look guilty not shiny.
I suggest that you have some of us eat split-pea soup for a few days and the rest eat red meat and wine and then test us to see who is healthier and have shiny faces.
What do you think?
Even before he appealed to the boss he had purposed in his heart that he would not eat the meat.but he still talked nicely! If the boss had said that he had to eat the meat, he would have had to decline and say ” I belong to God and can not do that.” and then accept the consequences. It has been my experience that most people who SUFFER FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE actually suffer because, although they are correct theologically, their delivery is ungodly and does not leave room for the Holy Spirit to show himself.
LORD HELP ME TO GET OUT OF YOUR WAY WHEN I AM TALKING AND MAY OTHERS HEAR YOU THROUGH MY YIELDED VOICE.