July 25, 2013 by lellielieb
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
This verse and the wisdom that goes with it stood out to me from the Proverbs reading scheduled for last night. It’s a familiar verse. I’ve heard it quoted in Sunday School, sermons, and conversation for years. Putting it to use is the hard thing. When someone comes at us with an obviously aggreived and angry attitude, it is difficult to go into “Proverbs Mode,” to answer softly rather than harshly. It’s just not the typical human reaction. It’s one of those things that requires the Holy Spirit’s intervention. It also requires experience and understanding of the concept.
Unfortunately, I have come to understand this best by playing the role of the angry person. If I am angry and I go after someone in my anger, a quiet, loving, understanding response pours water on my anger, puts out the fire, and helps me to see my own sin. It’s true. A quiet answer puts out the flame and opens the way for discussion, repentance, resolution, restoration and redemption.
I’ve also learned about this principle directly from the Lord. In my suffering I was angry with God. I raged at Him. He answered my anger with quiet truth, “I love you. I died for you. I’m working things out for your good.” It took me a while to listen, but He just kept calmly repeating the Message, putting it in front of me in His Word, in sermons, in articles and literature, by human example. It worked.
It works in human relationships as well. If someone comes at me in anger, I can choose to answer them in love. It may take a while, but eventually the calm will come. This requires practice and, more than that, it requires the intervention of the Holy Spirit. I can’t do it on my own. I’m asking God’s help with this today and in the days to come. Lord, help me to remember this principle. Help me to react to others as You reacted to me!