A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath. – (Proverbs 15:1, HCSB)
A gentle answer makes anger disappear, but a rough answer makes it grow. – (Proverbs 15:1, ERV)
A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire. – (Proverbs 15:1, MSG)
This is a game-changer in every area of our lives if we abide by it. When someone who is enraged is responded to gently, it seems to flip a switch and bring them back to reality. We tend to match the way that others are speaking to us, so if we are yelling or speaking out in anger and then have someone answer us gently, it is as if the steam that had been built up, is suddenly released, and the press of the fury has fled. I know this to be true in both my home and in my classroom. The challenge is to remember to keep calm and speak with kindness, even when chaos seems inevitable. This is not something we can just do, but rather as we seek God to equip us, He floods us with His peace, and grants us gentle words, even when we desire to do otherwise. We are all a work in progress, and not one of us has this entirely mastered, yet the more we practice, the more natural it becomes. May we ever seek the Lord to grow us in grace so that we may always have a gentle response to bring calm to the chaos around us.
A gentle response,
Makes wrath disappear;
It calms the chaos,
And soothes away fear.
For God is our peace,
Ever He is near;
He grants us the words,
To make His love clear.
Help us keep seeking,
To respond like You;
Make grace abundant,
So Your love shines through.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love as You love. Thank You that Jesus showed us over and over again how to respond gently and to love deeply. Forgive us for the times that we have answered anger with anger instead of responding with gentleness and kindness. Teach us to trust You to provide the sort of peaceful response that brings calm and promotes peace for all. Show us how to love others with how we respond in all situations and circumstances. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to lead us to respond gently when someone around us is riled up. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present
With all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. – Ephesians 4:2-3