Reading the Word
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1, ESV)
Understanding and Applying the Word
I do not know about you, but holding my tongue is hard to do. When someone says something in an unloving way or when something is said that is just plain wrong, my first inclination is to fire back. I want to put the person in their place. And that used to be what I would do. At least, most of the time it is what I would do.
As I have gotten a little older, I think I may have learned a little bit. I have realized the truth of this proverb. When you fire back you end up in a confrontation that rarely benefits anyone. In fact, it pretty much always harms everyone involved. Instead, the better approach is a soft answer. It may mean asking questions to redirect to the truth. It may mean gently making it clear you disagree. It may even mean walking away at the moment until a better time to have a discussion on the topic. When we respond, we must always show grace and the love of Christ. We must remember that our Lord suffered for us and we have been called on to do the same for the benefit of others. It is hard to speak gently at times, but it is what we are called to do and it is for the glory of God.
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