“A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 Amplified
As we enter the Christmas season we are looking at the verses that speak of love and giving. How much more giving and loving is it then to be gentle and kind when someone is being harsh and hard.
Yesterday we looked at the first verse in 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, and I said we would look more into what God says love should be. I had a situation come up last night, though, that made me think of today’s verse. Angry words were spoken to me and my carnal nature responded with angry words. Prior to this incident I’d been praying for God to help me respond to harsh words with a soft answer, so I suppose last night was a test. I failed. That’s ok though, in a way. Of course I asked God to forgive me, but it showed me rather quickly what I should have done and how I should have handled it. The trick is to learn and not repeat. You know in school you had to keep taking the test or class over until you passed it. Speaking of which, if you keep having the same problems with other people you may need to have a counseling session with the Teacher so He can help you pass those tests. Don’t be like the Israelites who kept going around the same mountain for 40 years!
Our verse today says a soft answer turns away wrath, and grievous words, those spoken in anger back, stir up anger. Though it’s usually very hard to not respond to someone in the same way they speak to us, God wants us to be gentle. Being gentle is what’s best for us and the other person. Have you ever seen a heated argument end in hugs and kisses, not usually. Usually the two parties get mad and don’t speak for a while.
So the real question is, how do we respond gently. The truth is I can’t do it, but if I stop and ask God to help me to do it, then I can. So the key is to stop! When angry words come our way, whether from a stranger or the closest person to you, don’t respond immediately, stop and ask God for help. It’s something I will likely have to do over and over again until it starts to become a part of my response mechanism, but I believe God wants me to do it and He will help me to do it, and He will help you too if you will only say those three little words – God help me.
Let’s follow what Proverbs 25:15 says – “soft speech breaks down the most bonelike resistance. “