A Soft Answer
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. ~Proverbs 15:1
We live in a very angry and enraged society. It is a society where many people tend to be very defensive against accusations, confrontation, rudeness, and presumed personal attack. When two people have a contention or strong disagreement, there is a likelihood that one of them will blow up and go off on a verbal tirade against the other. In the end, hurtful words further strain an already strained relationship. In some cases, a blowup results in altercations, violent reactions, and actions that are not soon forgotten. How we react or respond to another person when a grievance or fault occurs is very important. Our devotion this morning centers on the virtue of a soft answer.
There is the essence of a soft answer.
A soft answer is responding to a grievance or a caustic person with the goal of not making a bad situation worse. A soft answer is moving the other party from being on the defensive to seeing that you desire to resolve a disagreement or dispute. A soft answer is coming to a person with a spirit of meekness and letting him know that it is not your intention to be his enemy. It is responding with an opening statement, such as, “I’m sorry that you were offended by this. Can we sit down and discuss what happened so that I have a better understanding of this matter?” or, “Thank you for caring enough to share your concern with me. Can we sit down to discuss this so that you and I have a good understanding of the matter?” It is not allowing the other person’s angry spirit to incite you to words that would exasperate him to an even worse attitude. A soft answer is responding with kindness and diffusing a hothead with a spirit of grace.
There is the essential of a soft answer.
A soft answer is important to turn away a spirit of wrath and intense hostility. We must keep in mind that some angry people will refuse to be changed and even seek to say more things to you that are wrong and hurtful. However, the principle here is that a soft answer turneth away wrath. An angry response is like throwing gasoline on an already raging fire. As Christians, our goal is to turn an angry spirit into a cooperative spirit. It is to make a friend and not an enemy. It is to arrive at conflict resolution with a spirit that is calm, meek, and peaceable. "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." In our marriage, most conflicts can be diffused quickly using a soft answer. Our marriage is not meant to be a place for us to prove that we are right. We are to serve one another in love and humility. Make it a goal this year to not respond with anger or hostility to your spouse or family member. "Grievous words stir up anger."
There is evidence of a soft answer.
"A soft answer turneth away wrath." A soft answer resolves all conflicts. A soft answer leads to an improved spirit and home atmosphere. A soft answer tells the other person that you are approachable. It tells him that you are not trying to take advantage of him or hurt him. In many cases, it leads to a change in the other person. In the big picture, it could lead to an unsaved person’s salvation. It keeps a family together. One more thing: grievous words are not just an angry reaction to another person. Grievous words are words that are critical, undermining, crude, antagonistic, filled with accusatory overtones without fact, and disrespectful. We must work on having a heart filled with grace so that our speech is filled with grace.
Do you need to work on how you answer, respond to, react to, and approach another person? Are you someone who responds with inflammatory words? Are you a bridge builder or a bridge burner? Be ready to give a soft answer to an angry spirit.
Have a grace-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 4-6