A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – (Proverbs 15:1, NIV)
A gentle answer makes anger disappear, but a rough answer makes it grow. – (Proverbs 15:1, ERV)
A tender answer turns away rage, but a prickly reply spikes anger. – (Proverbs 15:1, VOICE)
People will typically meet us in tone and sentiment as we interact with one another. Even when a person is having a rough day, and kindness is far from the forefront of their mind, as kind words and gentleness are extended, the same seem to easily flow in reply. I have found, on many occasions, just how much truth these words hold. When I choose to respond to someone who is angry with gentle, softly spoken words, most often, the heat of their anger is diffused. However, when I respond from a space of my own frustration and meet their anger with my own, the intensity of the flame burns all the hotter and goes from heated to volatile. May we seek the One who always answers us gently with love, so that we may go forth and do the same.
May we choose answer,
Forever with grace;
For each choice of love,
Is living God’s way.
Those who are angry,
Need answers of peace;
Grants fury’s release.
Will turn away rage;
For love overcomes,
The toughest of days.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your gentleness diffuses our frustration and anger, and in You, we can do the same for others. Forgive us for the times that we have met fury with words that only fueled the fire of frustration rather than diffused. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would extend tender words that offer hope and help, no matter how we feel. Show us how to love others well in all situations and circumstances so that Your heart may be heard and Your love may be felt. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to extend gentleness and to speak words softly, especially when those around us are heated and in need of Your tenderness. Amen.
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. – Philippians 4:5