It’s all about the order. Fire, ready, aim. The steps are fine. The wrong order is a recipe for disaster. When conflicts come along, and conflicts most certainly will come along, we need to know the right steps, know the right order, and do what we know is right. Here are some clear directions. Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. -James 1:19-20 (MSG) These words are important enough to deserve top of the mind attention. The reason is simple. Our reflex action to conflict is to get mad, say something we’ll later regret, and never hear the other point of view. Getting the order right requires conscious effort. But the results are certainly worth the effort. A sneeze travels at 600 miles per hour. Harsh words seem to travel just as fast. Like a sneeze, you can’t bring them back. And yes, both are quite capable of creating a mess. Fast words can bring a fast end to any relationship. Slow down. Listen. Enjoy relationships that are built to last.