Home fire extinguishers
Family flare-ups are no fun. No one really intends to start them. And it's reasonable to believe that nearly everyone involved would rather have them extinguished before they spread.
What is often needed is a reliable fire extinguisher.
In Proverbs we're told, "A soft answer turneth away wrath." n1 And in the book of Luke, Christ Jesus says, "Unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other." n2
n1 Proverbs 15:1
n2 Luke 6:29
But does such counsel really heal flareups? Or does it merely make one family member submissive to another?
An examination of Jesus' example helps answer this question. AT one time a mob threatened him. Critics harped and harped. close friends (his own disciples!) failed to support him as he was unjustly arrested and finally crucified. He never fought back physically, and even rebuked a disciple for trying to defend him with a sword. But was Jesus submissive? Or weak? Did he wither before the Pharisees' criticism?
Hardly. As one reads the gospel accounts of his life, an overwhelming feeling of triumph accompanies the Master's steadfast tenderness and love.
How could Jesus have been so steady? Perhaps because he knew that his God-given mission brought him for a good purpose to each situation (rather than the situation "happening" to him in a random way). And, what's more, Jesus knew that God was his creator, the rock of his identity and being.
Can we know that God is our creator, too? Absolutely! Our true nature (and, as we live this nature, our day-to-day well-being) is safe and secure now because it is founded on the same rock. Referring to the coming of Christ, Truth, to her in prayer, Mary Baker Eddy n3 states in one of her poems: Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock, Upon Life's shore, 'Gainst which the winds and waves can shock, Oh, nevermore! n4
n3 Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
n4 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 397