"A Gentle Answer" August 7, 2022
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:1 NIV
Have you ever tried to argue with someone who does not argue back? We are so used to people reacting and responding to everything that when faced with a situation like this, we are quite frankly, stumped.
What would happen if you did not have the last word? In most situations, there is this split second where we make a decision about where the conversation is about to go. That is the space where decisions are made to use words that stir up anger or turn away wrath.
Jesus did this all the time in the Gospels. In Mark 12:13-17, two groups, the Pharisees and Herodians came to Jesus to trick and catch Him in His words. They asked Him, whether the people should pay taxes to Caesar or not? Scripture says that Jesus knew their hypocrisy and in that split moment, he delivers this answer. “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Scripture goes on to say that they were amazed at His words.
In another example, the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus into contradicting the law or His message of love by bringing Him a woman caught in adultery and asking permission to stone her according to the law of Moses. Amazingly, Jesus paused for a long silence and then with great wisdom affirmed law and grace by inviting whoever was without sin to throw the first stone. They all walked away confronted by their sins and Jesus released the woman (John 8:1-11).
When you’re faced today with the chance to fuel or diffuse anger, what words will you choose to use?
Here are some practical next steps for diffusing anger.
- Be quick to repent (Psalm 51)
- Know when to withdraw. (Matthew 12:9-15),(Matthew 16:1-4), (John 10:22-42).
- Be prepared to speak the truth in Love. (Matthew 19:1-9)