by Erin Bird

Happy 4th of July! I hope you are having (or had) a great celebration of our nation’s birthday. Even if you don’t have big plans for the holiday, be sure to thank God for placing you in this country where you have the freedom to worship and even share your faith in Jesus.

We are in a four-week series here in the News & Notes on the topic of Reconciling Relationships, using Dr. Emerson Eggerich’s “B.L.U.R.” acronym. Last week, we looked at the B – Believe in Their Good Will, which means this week we get to look at the L – Lower your Heart Rate.

“You may be right, but wrong at the top of your voice!”

For many people, when they are in a heated argument, the volume with which they speak begins to rise and their voice takes on a harsher tone.

I remember hearing Dr. Eggerich’s tell a story about when he was having an argument with his wife. He confessed his volume was getting louder and his voice was more “robust.” And that’s when his wife shot back at him, “You can be right, but still wrong at the top of your voice!”

Getting louder doesn’t make your point more true. Talking in a harsh tone doesn’t mean you’re right. In fact, louder voice volumes often come from a heart that isn’t trying to prove a point, but to manipulate the other person.

However, to find true reconciliation in a relationship, you can’t manipulate the other. To draw the heart of the other person back toward you, you need to lower your voice as you lower your heart rate.

For many people, when they find their voice getting louder because the brain is racing in the middle of an argument, they take a deep breath. This is why some people advise “counting to ten” before saying something when in the heat of an argument. The ten-count forces you to pause, think clearly, so you can regain some perspective.

Let the Psalms Lower Your Heart Rate

In Psalm 46, there is a portion a famous verse that people have taken solace in. It is this:

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10a)

However, this “calming” verse is in the midst of violent words. Listen to what the Sons of Korah wrote just before this famous phrase:

“Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He make wars cease to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear. He burns the chariots with fire.” (Psalm 46:8-9)

Breaking bows, shattered spears, and burning chariots? Sounds pretty violent. What is God getting at with all of this?

Bows, spears, and chariots were instruments of war in the days of the Psalms. If you found yourself in the midst of a battle, you probably wouldn’t feel calm.

And that’s the author’s point.

In the midst of the chaos, we can take rest in God, because He can end it. He can stop the war.

At the same time, He can calm your heart in the heat of an argument. He can shatter the verbal spear the other person might be lodging at you. So lower your heart rate. Be still. Let God be God. Trust Him even when it feels like you are in a verbal battle. Because He is able to reconcile this relationship.

P.S. To give credit where credit is due, photo from×12-carved-wooden-sign-with