Verse 1: A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Sometimes we want absolutes even when they aren't possible. When I say absolutes, I am referring to a practice that will always have the same outcome every time. That's not always a realistic expectation. Even in today's gold nugget, we find a principle that should always be practiced regardless of the outcome. As Solomon wrote, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." It is true that a soft answer turns away wrath, but the writer does not say, "a soft answer ALWAYS turns away wrath.
It's interesting, even though a soft answer doesn't always turn away wrath, the second half of that verse, " a harsh word stirs up anger", is almost always true. You can almost bet the farm that our harsh words will stir people's stew. Imagine if someone comes at you with harsh words. If you respond with harsh words, it's only going to spark harsher words from them than when they first came at you with. If they were being ugly to begin with, they are not going to improve their temperament with your harsh response. Again, we will not always turn away anger with a gentle response, but MOST people will change their temperament when they see you respond in gentleness. Its hard to be the only one yelling in a conversation.
Lord, thank you for the opportunity to see the areas of my life that need attention. Give me the strength to use these truths when I communicate with others. I want to be a better example of your love when dealing with conflict. Help me to know that my tongue can bring death or life. I want to be a life giver. One who uses words to help and encourage.
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