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)
A tender answer turns away rage, but a prickly reply spikes anger. – (Proverbs 15:1, VOICE)
This is a timely reminder as the end of the school year draws ever nearer, and exhaustion is at an all-time high. Patience wanes when weariness is prevalent, and it is important to remember what matters. I have both seen and experienced the truth of this proverb, as I have both calmed and been calmed when a gentle response has been given in a moment of anger. Similarly, I have been both the provider and the recipient of a rough answer, and such is never well-received. If we are truly choosing love, our response to people must align. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us to respond gently in love, so that anger dissipates and kindness reigns.
Tender the answer,
That turns away wrath;
As good we enact.
Lead us to calm down;
Extending God’s love,
To those all around.
Lead us, Lord Jesus,
To gently respond;
Take a breath, listen,
In love, correspond.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You show us Your faithfulness as we choose to respond gently to tempers inflamed. Thank You that the fruit of the Spirit are the things that keep relationships intact and communication open. Thank You that You call us to be gentle and kind, for each time we have received these things in a moment of anger or frustration, the fury melted away and calm came forth. Forgive us for the times that we return anger with anger. Teach us to slow down, take a deep breath, and listen to Your leading – for Your response in loving, patient and kind, and brings peace in the midst of frustration or fury. Show us how to love one another in all situations and circumstances so that we would answer each other gently and in love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to help us always answer gently and with love so that Your heart may be clearly seen. Amen.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control… – Galatians 5:22-23a