Elmer forgot to give his wife, Gladys, a gift on their 40th anniversary. He felt awful and wanted to make up for it. He asked her what he could do fix it. She decided to take advantage of the situation and said, "with Christmas right around the corner, I want something that I can make go from 0 to 200 in just a few seconds." Christmas morning arrives and Elmer tells Gladys her gift is in the garage. She runs out there and finds a brand new, shiny, chrome plated bathroom scale. Anyone who has seen Elmer since Christmas is asked to contact the missing persons task force at the local police department.
Do we know how to deal with it when people "push our buttons"? Do we overreact and get snarky about things to the point of where we make things worse? How did you respond the last time someone upset you? Did you help to defuse the situation or did you make it worse? In today's day and age, the majority of people feel no remorse about lashing out in response to someone else's anger.
Just ask yourself, how many bad statements (angry ones, gossipy ones, irreverent ones, and especially vulgar ones) can you derail with words of holiness? That means, however, that we need to know the words of holiness to use. The book of Proverbs is filled with suggestions for how to change a conversation into something godly (go read it and see). If, however, we spend our time listening to rude comments at work, crude music on the radio, and angry people on the internet, and just keep the same manner of conversation in our own speech we will only increase much of the societal hate that exists today. In addition, it makes our own spirits more likely to degenerate into numerous kinds of misery.
St James tells us that the tongue is the hardest thing to tame, and St Paul says that everything we say should be like delicious food -- pleasant to all around. Is this the kind of speech that we exhibit to the world? How glorious it would be if we found the grace to communicate holiness in all we say. We might actually be called "peacemakers"!