When I was a child my Dad told me about an incident that happened when he was on guard duty in the Marine Corps. Two of the guards were best friends who liked to quick draw their handguns whenever they saw each other. One day they both grabbed their weapons and one gun accidentally went off.
As one man slid down the guardhouse wall, a .45 caliber slug lodged in his spine that would leave him paralyzed, he kept asking his friend, "Why?"
All his friend could say was, "I didn't mean it."
My Dad would say, "Angry words are like that bullet, once said, you can never put them back in the barrel."
Points to build on
1. The time to pick your words is before you lose control of your anger. Actively prepare for confrontation by thinking through scenarios and picturing yourself handling the situations calmly and rationally.
2. When angry, take a deep breath and calm your emotions. The old adage "when angry count to ten before you say anything" is a wise way to deal with cooling off your anger.
3. Choose your words carefully to be as positive as possible. Angry words can do terrible damage to a relationship. Even in quarrels, try to accentuate the positive.
Remember Solomon's proverb, "There is one who speaks like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health" (Proverbs 12:18).