Words from the Heart for Friday October 20th, 2017
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1 (NKJV)
A Soft Answer
The moment may be very “hot” and the issue very real. Everything about the situation may seem to merit a harsh word. The Lord shows us a better solution. A soft answer is not a sign of weakness. The soft answer doesn’t add fuel to the fire of anger. It is the way that allows the Lord to work. We can learn to relate to others this way—even under pressure. It is the best way to deal with conflict.
This past May an outdoor party was being held in the backyard of a Mississauga Ontario home. The police responded to a noise complaint after a local rock band started to play. The officer asked the musicians to turn down the volume a bit and left. When he came back a short time later the young people thought the party was over. But instead, the officer asked if he could have a go on the drums and built instant rapport with the kids.
When King Solomon prayed for wisdom, God gave him the ability to look at the world and see things as God sees things. It was a real gift and the result is that we have the wisdom of Solomon recorded in the Book of Proverbs. The principles and precepts that he lays out in these wise sayings are eternally true. One prime example is Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” It is natural when we are in the midst of a heated argument, or have been accused of something, to respond with anger and vitriol. It is what naturally comes out of the unredeemed human heart. We naturally lash back. But Solomon noticed that this never solved a problem – it only led to more anger and more strife. Followers of Jesus are called to always respond in love. Jesus called it turning the other cheek. Solomon looked around and noticed that when someone responds to anger and violence with a soft answer, things quiet down and the explosion never happens. Ask the Lord to help you respond with a soft answer next time you are faced with an angry person.
These have been words from the heart.