April 7

Written by Bill Grandi on April 7th, 2020

It is common when we are challenged to lash back. It might be in an attitude. It might be in words-spiteful, mean, caustic, sarcastic-you name the adjective. What if, instead of those kinds of adjectives-we chose words that were (for lack of a better one) winsome. Sort of like Jesus.

Here’s my thought. I began reading Scriptures yesterday that deal with Jesus’ last week-the Triumphant entry to His resurrection. Much of the Scripture involves challenges from the religious elite. One I read today is from Luke 19 and Mark 11. They ask Jesus about His authority, i.e. where did He get off teaching what He did? Jesus could have blasted them but instead he asked a question: “The baptism of John-was it from God or from men?” Consider what Jesus could have said and consider what He asked. Was that not a winsome question/answer? Talk about disarming! And look what it did to them!! It got them so flustered-it got their undies so in a bunch-they had no answer. “Neither will I tell you.”

Oh, but Jesus isn’t finished. He tells a parable with a question. A man had two sons… (See Mt.21:28-32). And if that wasn’t enough, He tells another parable of the landowner whose renters killed his servants and then his only son. (Mt.21:33-46)

Jesus’ words were so pointed, so disarming, they walked away. Verse 46 is telling: “And although they were seeking to arrest Him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.”

Jesus’ words disarmed them. And, at least for now, defeated them. Imagine if we chose to use the same approach when challenged! Cooler heads could prevail. Loud mouths would be silenced. Heated situations defused.

“Father, help me to be a voice of reason and calm by my words and actions when things are seemingly out of control. Help me to ask winsome questions and use wise words.”


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Yes, LORD, yes! Help me!

  2. Ryan S. says:

    I think the cool head and calm voice are the key to deescalation in cases where words are being exchanged.

    Choosing wise words and if that is not possible – no words at least for the moment is sometimes the wisest option.

    I am not sure I could pull a parable out of my head so quickly, though it may be worth a shot….

  3. Love this illustration, Bill! Jesus certainly knew how to disarm His opponents without using biting words. We should all learn to do the same.