A Soft Answer Turns Away Wrath

September 13

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

It is very difficult to remain quiet when someone speaks angry words to you. It’s well nigh impossible because angry words sting. They hurt. And they only prompt more anger. So much damage can be done with an uncontrolled tongue.

“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.
The tongue is so set among our members
that it defiles the whole body,
and sets on fire the course of nature;
and it is set on fire BY HELL.”
James 3:6

The only thing that can possibly come from it is bitterness and hatred.

“See how great a forest a little fire kindles!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.”
James 3:5-6

The Word of God tells us to do the very opposite.

The Word of God tells us to respond with a soft answer, because a soft answer will quench the wrath. I saw this in action one day. I saw a man with raised voice speak angry words to his wife, and I saw her respond softly, not at all raising her voice, speaking slowly with all gentleness. And I witnessed the man calm down and listen to her. The whole atmosphere changed. This was so beautiful that years later, I have never forgotten it.

The soft answer quenches wrath. When someone speaks words of anger to you, lower your voice and speak a soft answer and see how it changes everything. It is extremely difficult to do because we are emotional people and we feel like we’re being violated. But if we keep in mind the total futility of wrath against wrath, and respond instead according to the Word of God, the whole atmosphere will change and you’ve gained your opponent instead of making him an enemy.