A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
When a person is faced with an angry person, the first thing most people do is respond in anger. This becomes especially true if the person that is angry is doing it with wrath–extreme anger and violence.
Extreme anger and violence usually brings out anger and violence in other people. When a news reporter reports on a situation in which someone stated something in wrath or showed extreme violence, the people start talking about the situation with heated words of anger. They want to see justice done. Speaking like this brings out more anger, rather than a change of heart.
Parents are often seen speaking very harshly to a child who made a mistake and did something wrong. Doing this often brings out more anger in the child, rather than a change of heart.
People who are displaying wrath often feel that they are right and the world is wrong. Anyone who speaks harshly against them is wrong. As they are spoken to in that way, they put up a wall and strike even harder with their anger and wrath.
Solomon points out that speaking with a gentle answer gets the person to calm down from the extreme anger. Looking at the words of Jesus, He rarely ever spoke harshly with people. The only ones He spoke harshly with were the ones who claimed to be serving God, yet went against Him.
God shows love to every person. He speaks with a kind and gentle voice that is loving and forgiving.
Think about your own life. How do you react when someone speaks harshly with you? As with most people, you probably put up a wall and fight harder for your case.
When a person speaks gently to you, the fight in you will lessen and you will hear what is being said.
Is it right to be upset and angry with people who are doing wrong? Yes, but in the right way. Do not speak as the world does and just condemn the person. Show God’s love, grace and mercy. Slow down and speak gentle words that will touch the heart and show them back to God.
How are your words being said today?
I pray today that you will have God’s love for all people; that God’s Spirit will keep you calm in every situation; that you will answer with the love and words of God; and that you will use gentle words to speak God’s truth to those speaking or acting in wrath and anger.