A well-known conservative Christian blog runs a series of posts entitled "Next". They are designed to be short, witty, and somewhat snarky responses to objections people raise about the God, Christianity and church.
Often the responses are well-thought out and reflect very good answers to sometimes tough questions. However, I shudder a little every time I read them because the answers just don't seem to reflect the type of grace I'd like them to.
If you know me well, you know that I'm not always the most gentle of people, but I feel like this is an area of my life that the Spirit has shaped over the years... which is perhaps why I'm more sensitive to this.
Below I listed the verses which seemed appropriate to this discussion, and then made a short list of things I learned about wisely answering people (especially those with whom you disagree). I'll continue working on answering THIS way, I hope you will to.
"Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
He who answers before listening— that is his folly and his shame.
A poor man pleads for mercy, but a rich man answers harshly.
If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.
teaching you true and reliable words, so that you can give sound answers to him who sent you?
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.
Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.
The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly.
Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart; then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.
WISDOM FOR ANSWERING PEOPLE:
2. Listen well before you formulate your answer.
3. Weigh your answer, don't immediately gush.
4. Give answers that reflect Scripture.
5. Don't endlessly debate with a fool.