Like apples of gold in settings of silver
is a ruling rightly given.
Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.
Conflict typically is the product of misunderstandings. Misunderstandings in turn, stem from lack of communication. Lack of communication may be caused by fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Fear of hurting susceptibilities often comes from bad experiences in which we have hurt others when our words were said with neglect. What we need to consider is whether those words that have hurt others were intentional. If the original intention was based on a genuine love, we should not worry about the situation they could have had caused. If the intention was to hurt, then we have an issue of sin that we must acknowledge and bring to our Heavenly Father in prayer so that we are forgiven. If speaking out is necessary, love can not remain silent. Our words of encouragement should always be pronounced with the purpose of building up and not destroying. Even if our intentionally kind words cause harm, we must pronounce them as long as we are sure that they come from a true heart and sincere love.
Now let’s get on the side of the recipient. How have we taken the things someone else has said? Have we received them with humility, knowing that they will help us grow or, on the contrary, have we taken them as an aggression which deserves a forceful response from our side? If our attitude as recipients of the message is not a conflictive, we may greatly benefit from the advice. If instead, we are always on the defensive, whatever we hear will be understood as an attack and the fire of conflict will be kindled. Remember that love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Let us, therefore, stay alert so we do not get caught in the traps of the enemy. To God alone be the glory!