In trying to keep my answers soft when faced with strife and frustration, I have been made to think about when and where to respond to situations that anger me. The first thing I must do is to recognize whether or not a situation requires my response. There are times we must respond; it is our duty, our responsibility, our job. Correcting the behavior of our children would fall under this category. Too often, however, we feel like we must respond when in actuality we should just remain silent. We feel it is our right to respond.....our right- not our duty. Whenever we feel like giving a response based on our rights versus a response based on obligation, we should be careful. At that point, we are on a slippery slope and are in danger of pulling others down with us.
Even when we are responding out of duty, we should be careful what we say or do in public. We should always realize that we are ambassadors of the kingdom, and how we act and what we say will cast a reflection on the Lord we serve. Loud, angry, harsh, and hurtful words are never to be used, but even soft answers should be tempered in public. Often a few words spoken privately will have a much more powerful effect on those around us than a long, public speech. And the internet is rarely, if ever, the appropriate place to air differences. Just because we can, does not mean that we should.
This thought feels incomplete, but it is all I have at the moment. Maybe there will be more later. Or maybe you could finish this thought for me in the comment section below. I would welcome the input.