In the year of 1981, there was a man who was scheduled to meet with a state governor over some issues that greatly bothered him. As certain things mounted up his frustration, he was eager to meet with that governor and give him “a piece of his mind.” He was tired of dealing with certain things, like how the government was treating him with how high his taxes were, why ‘those’ people get paid so much, where was his tax dollars were going, among several others; so this man simply put together a list of all the things that irritated him the most on a small piece of paper, so he could just tell this governor off about every single thing that fired him up! So as this upset individual was about to enter the office of this state governor, with his head full of steam and his mouth full of words, he was surprised to find the door of the governor’s office opened to him by none other than the governor himself. The governor kindly greeted him in by introducing himself, and making his visitor feel as welcome as possible. The governor asked him to have a seat, offered him a beverage, and was more than willing to meet the needs of this concerned local citizen. The governor saw the list in his hand and asked, “What’s that you got there? Is it something I can help you with?” The man was baffled in his mind, totally startled by the unexpected gestures, and simply replied, “Oh, it’s nothing, sir.” As he crammed it into his pocket. Unsure of what to make of the meeting, and without realizing it, his frustration was emptied. He tried to recollect all the concerns he had put together for weeks before time, but it seemed impossible. He suddenly forgot all but one or two of the things he wanted to speak about. As he brought them to the governor’s attention, stuttering with embarrassment, he was given a simple answer of how those things will be dealt with immediately and will top the governor’s priority list. Feeling as if he had wasted the governor’s time, he apologized to the governor, and admitted that he had totally forgotten most of what he wanted to discuss. “That’s okay,” replied the governor. “As soon as you think of them again, you give me a call, and I’ll be sure to help you out” followed by a wink. As the once-frustrated man left the office of that Arkansas governor, his thoughts of resentment and anger towards that governor never appeared again in the front of his mind. His thoughts of that governor were forever changed, simply due to the easiness, gentleness, and loving-kindness of that governor. Due to the ability to defuse differences between he and others, that state governor would later serve as the 42nd President of the United States. Now obviously, without endorsing Bill Clinton, I do commend him for this ability he had. This Bible principle can be used by anyone. Many times, we are approached with someone who thinks they got it all nailed down. They know how that event should have been handled, they have a better way of doing it the next time, they’re mad that there’s egg in the carpet, or whatever it may be. These people are more than adamant to let

       You know about it too. But we can “defuse the difference” with our brother or sister in Christ without losing our testimony. Even Jesus was at peace with His enemies. Why? Because He had a testimony to keep! And as a child of God, we are representing someone bigger than us! Let us represent Him well! Proverbs 15:1, 2 says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” Abraham Lincoln once said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” As any YP does, you will face the temptation often to ‘go off’ on someone. As much as you would like to do that, and as satisfying to flesh as it may seem, please remember that you have a testimony to keep! This is the devil’s way of ruining our testimony for Christ! He’ll send that ONE person you do not like, to say that CERTAIN thing that will push your buttons and will do it at the WORST time. Any YP who is full of the Holy Spirit will be affective in how he communicates with his teenagers, parents, and anyone else. When we walk in the flesh, that’s when it’s probably going in one ear and out the other, we are found personally offensive, or we say something stupid. I’m not sure about you, but I want to be the best Youth Pastor I can possibly be. I don’t want to be a broken record to my teens, and they never receive anything spiritually from me. I want to walk with God, so they too will walk with God. I want to be full of the Holy Spirit, so they too can be full of the Holy Spirit. I want God to use me to reach some family that may be broken and in pieces, whom only God can put back together! Some teenager is relying on you to be the example God has called you to be. Don’t let the devil ruin your testimony. Meet with that upset parent, that disgruntled teenager, by defusing the difference they have with you.

Nathan Pitts | Youth Pastor

Riverland Baptist Church

Dunnellon, Florida