When I was younger, I always fought to be heard and defended myself venemously. As I've grown in the Lord, I recognize that this often detracts from my personal testimony. I also think this is in obedience of 2 Timothy 2:23 which says,
"Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels."
Some may argue that this choice to "take the high road" is avoiding the situation but I feel that it is setting a boundary. It sends the message that I choose not to feed a negative situation. This idea is itself an important boundary.
There are several steps that I feel are important in not participating in negativity. The first is that I always silently pray and ask the Lord how I can point a negative conversation to Him. Often He allows me to share tidbits of my testimony in a "would be" negative situation. Secondly, I have learned to remove myself from a situation where I feel there is too much negative emotion or that I am tempted to retort. Third, I ask for help when needed from third parties. This principle is established in Matthew 18:15-16,
"If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'"
I believe that choosing to remain above negative, unhealthy situations is God's will for my life. I also think this is a much healthier decision than to argue and apologize later. Lastly, this method of communication allows our Heavenly Father to become our Defender. Our challenge is to stay focused on the leading of the Holy Spirit and abide in His peace.
My Prayer: God, thank you for showing me how to set boundaries with others. Holy Spirit, continue to lead and teach me to be emotionally healthy. I wholeheartedly choose to follow you and obey the Scriptures that tell me to avoid foolish arguments. Lord, thank you for being my Defender. You do such a better job than I do. Thank you for continuing to work through my life. In Jesus' name!