When someone “reproves with sharpness” it’s usually a
manifestation of ego disguised as righteous indignation. When they afterwards
feel embarrassed at having lost their temper, any proverbial “increase in
love” they might show to their victim can look like an insincere and
condescending gesture.It’s a common dynamic in human relations
and is generally used by those who want to stay in control by stripping the
victim of his defenses while he's still licking his wounds. It’s
always better to keep avoidable situations from blowing up in the first place by
following the simple rule to think before you speak.
D & C 121:43-44 has relevance and application: “Reproving betimes with
sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards
an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to
be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords
of death.” The word “betimes” is often misunderstood. It means
early, quickly--the colloquial “nip it in the bud.” When moved to do
so by the Spirit, handle the problem swiftly and clearly, then show an immediate
kindness and understanding. An offending individual always deserves a rational
explanation as to why their behavior is being questioned.This, by the way,
is good advice when the need to discipline children arises.
I agree with what you are saying in some contexts, but strongly disagree with
your assumption that Still small voice is always better.1st Nephi Chapter
20 3 Behold, I have declared the former things from the beginning; and
they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them. I did show them suddenly. 4 And I did it because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy aneck is
an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;Even Apostles bang on the Podium
and Say "God will not be mocked". My sources are from BYU students by
the way.There are times when you have to be bold and sudden and that
teaches a lesson.
In my younger days when my short fuse and sharp tongue left someone wounded, I
was often the one who suffered from it long afterwards. I gradually learned to
speak more tenderly to others. It seems God has shown a lot of patience in the
work he’s done on me over time.
Such a great article. It is never wrong to give a sincere apology. And we are
so much happier when we choose to forgive also.
Thanks for the comment. My wife is the same way--does her best to lead by
example. I'm a lucky man!
Good advice. Am grateful to a wife who continues to be the soft spoken;
"Have you ever thought of - - -" approach to correction and giving
advice. Everyone in our extended family listens to her.