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Proverbs 18:12 – Hatred Stirreth Up Strifes…

Proverbs 18:12If you’re in business for even the shortest time, whether working for yourself or an employer, expect to find the sentiments of Proverbs 18:12 tested regularly. It reads in full: “Hatred stirreth up strifes; but love covereth all transgressions.” A slowness to anger and an eternal spirit of forgiveness are both solid Biblical values. Unfortunately, many of us snap right into defense mode at the very hint of being under attack. We sharpen our tongue and everything goes downhill from there.

It’s an old business maxim in some quarters that the customer is always right. Well, we’re here to tell you that the customer is not always right – sometimes he’s a blooming idiot – but that doesn’t mean he needs to be informed of that fact immediately. The problem is that defense mode tends to cause our brain to disconnect. With no brain, it’s hard to carry on a conversation at all. Try it some time. You’ll see.

Here’s a neat little rejoinder. As soon as the complainer takes a breath in their rant, ask, “What can I do to make this better?” It’s amazing how little they will usually ask in return, sometimes something completely out of proportion (minimally) to the amount of violent energy expended in the complaint. Realize that when someone is mad, they’re not listening. You might have to let them go on for a while before taking part.

And despite your best efforts to adhere to Proverbs 18:12, it’s a fact that some people are just vile and want to mess with your head. Don’t hate them back. In Mathew 5:21-22 Jesus compares hate to murder. That’s a pretty serious condemnation, so don’t be a hater.

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