Posted by Melissa
A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath. —Proverbs 15:1
KEEP YOUR COOL. Stay calm. Relax. All of these are words or phrases that most of us don’t want to hear when we‘re angry or frustrated. Because we’re human, we want to say what’s on our minds, even when we know we’ll probably regret it as soon as the words fly past our lips.
Has that ever happened to you? It has to me! In the moment, why is it so much easier to say the things that may hurt than it is to be quiet, stay calm, and carefully consider our words before we say them?
Taming your tongue and learning to think before you speak, especially in anger, is a tough lesson to learn. And most of us learn it through experience. Think about the times when you’ve lashed out and your angry words brought regret and broken relationships. Then consider the times you’ve been on the receiving end of hateful, venomous words. They hurt, and they probably made you angry.
That’s why today’s key verse is so important, especially when we talk about relationships. Gentle answers bring peace, strengthen relationships, and show consideration for the person to whom we’re speaking. If we will choose to look at each person we encounter as someone God might have us minister to, care for, and love, we might choose to treat them differently.
Responding in gentleness and love takes discipline and practice. It also takes God’s help. Not everyone we meet is easy to love. You know those people in your life who just know how to frustrate you? Look at them from Jesus’ perspective, then treat them in a way that shows them His love. Even our words should point to God. Do yours?
What situations cause you to get angry? How can you remind yourself—before you speak—to be the one who brings a gentle answer? What can you do now to prepare for these situations?
Read through John 18. As Jesus was being betrayed, what are some examples of His choice to respond with a gentle word? How does His example challenge you in your daily life?
Ask God to show you the areas you are more likely to speak a harsh word than a gentle word. Pray that He would help you be an example of Him, even in your speech.