Why Nagging Never Works
“A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.” (Proverbs 16:21 TEV)
Have you noticed how many difficult people there are in the world? Do you feel like you have to deal with most of them some days?
You know what rude acts bug me the most? People who call me and then say, “Who is this?” People who honk their horns in traffic jams. People who cheat in the 10-items-or-less grocery line. People who steal your parking spot.
The list goes on, and I’m sure you can relate. So, how should we respond in love to difficult people?
Proverbs 16:21 says, “A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is” (TEV).
The more pleasant you are, the more persuasive you are. And, you’re never persuasive when you’re abrasive. Nagging doesn’t work.
The way you say something determines the way it’s received. If you say something offensively, it’s going to be received defensively. That’s why love is all about your words. Love is truthful, but it is also tactful.
Tact and tone always go together. It matters the way you say something, not just what you say. You can say something very difficult for someone to hear, but if you say it in the right tone — a loving tone — it will be received much better.
A loving response to a difficult person requires you to be pleasant and tactful. If you want to be below that difficult person, attack him. If you want to be even with him, get even with him. But if you want to respond the way Jesus would, show that person love with the words you say and the way you say them.
Talk It Over
Can you think of a time when you had to walk away from someone to keep from saying something rude or hurtful? How do you think God wants you to respond in those situations?
Who do you use nagging with to try to get your way? What has been the effect?
Do you want to be known as a wise, mature, and understanding person? What will you have to change about the way you talk to people?
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