July 16th 2009

The Power Of A Soft Answer

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:1 (NKJV)

How many times a day are we tempted to respond in anger? Especially when we feel offended by what someone has said about us. And when we actually do respond in anger what are the results – upset, stress, anxiety, tension and broken relationships? Sad isn’t it? Yet there is a much more pleasant way of dealing with someone’s angry outburst.

At that very moment we have the opportunity to fan the situation into flames or to pour on water and dampen the situation down. It is what we say in response that makes all the difference.

The wisdom of the proverb tells us that we have the power in the next few words to bring calm and peace rather than upset and anger. But too often we let the emotion of the moment take charge and determine what we do next and too often it is the wrong thing. It might bring immediate relief but very quickly we see the error of our choice.

How pleasant it is to diffuse a potentially flammable encounter. This often has the effect of strengthening a relationship instead of wrecking it.

It just requires a little self-control and thoughtfulness. To catch ourselves before we speak, and to make sure of our response will take the fire out of the situation. This will also create a moment of calm when any necessary correction of mistakes and misunderstandings can be dealt with maturely.

Solomon saw the wisdom in developing and protecting relationships. He realised the power in a soft answer to avert a difficult situation and to keep good working relationships where problems can be addressed and resolved in a positive atmosphere.

Our Father in heaven, help me to appreciate the value of relationships, to do all I can to protect and develop them positively. Help me to seek peace in my response to those I meet, preferring a soft answer to harsh words.

Study by David Stirk