There’s an idiom that goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”. Can anyone argue with that? Of course not. Even the bible backs that up.
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
I know I respond quite differently to a harsh, confrontational tone; than I do to a friendly one. Who doesn’t? Even criticism, when delivered in a concerned or friendly manner, can ward off the wrath of others.
Yet often times instead of acting upon something we react to it. Reacting to something expresses our anger and or displeasure. Someone has offended us, or treated us in a manner we consider unjust or unfair. Maybe we’re just not happy with our electric bill. So, we snap at people or give them a good chewing out.
So let me ask you, “when you react negatively to a situation, does it usually turn out in your favor”? When you talk angrily or rudely to someone, do you find them helpful do they usually give you what you want, or do they do their very best to shut you down and make sure you don’t get your way? I find it’s usually the later.
Although we have become a service based society bad manners, and curt responses have become the norm for many. I don’t know if it’s because we’re becoming more self-absorbed and selfish; or if the values and morals of old have just become passé’.
I have more than once accidentally over-drafted my checking account, and got all the fees taken off. I have also had medical bills reduced, and even AT&T go out of their way to help me when they didn’t have to. How did I do it? I was pleasant and friendly to the customer service people I was dealing with. If I was told by the initial person they couldn’t help, I told them I understood, thanked them for their time, and asked to speak to someone else; but always remaining nice to them.
I rarely ever accept no right off the bat, and have found when I am nice to people 90% of them do their absolute best to help me or find someone who can. If you call someone on a customer service issue, and you are rude and hateful your chances of getting a positive result is majorly hindered.
Not only that, but we are called to be lights in a dark world. How much light are we showing when we are being curt, rude and mean? If Christ can overlook our shortcomings, and be as kind to us as He is, how can we turn around and not show that same kindness and understanding to others?
I know someone reading this is going to say, “what about this situation, I tried being nice and was treated terribly”. There is always going to be an exceptions to the rule where being nice may not get you the results you desire; but those are exceptions.
When we are using vinegar with people instead of honey, we are dealing with people out of anger and frustration. Look at the following scriptures about anger and let the bible speak on the subject.
An angry man stirs up strife, And a furious man abounds in transgression.
Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?
But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
Anger is a natural emotion; but one that we can, and need to tame.
If you seek a positive outcome in your dealings with people, no matter what the situation is, you will get much farther by being nice than being angry or mean.
Remember, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”.
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