A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly. (Proverbs 15:1–2, ESV)
A soft answer or gentle response defuses anger. A sharp or harsh word rouses anger. Anger may be in the other person or inside you. Some people speak harshly to themselves—their self-talk is very unkind. Others speak sharply to their family and friends. Either pattern leads to anger or increases existing anger. But “softness” in speech, gentleness and kindness, are attributes of God. They will bring improvement in a situation over time.
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great. (Psalm 18:35, ESV, emphasis mine)
Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4, ESV, emphasis mine)
God’s gentleness and kindness are ever present in our lives. It’s hard for us to imagine a holy God who is wrathful, gentle and kind, but God is God, and he can be all those things at once without his attributes violating each other.
Are you defusing anger or kindling anger? Are you using gentleness and kindness with those you’re in conflict with and with yourself? As you lean on God’s gentleness and kindness, let it inspire within you gentle answers toward those whom you oppose or who oppose you.
Lord, help me to be gentle even with those I feel anger toward. Please infuse my tongue with your wisdom and my answers with your kindness. . . Continue praying.
If you enjoyed today's devotional don't forget to join us Friday's at 2 p.m for our Facebook live show!