Proverbs 15:1 (ESV)
1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
There’s a beautiful contrast here between the soft answer on the one hand and the “harsh word” on the other.
At a very human level we’re often quick to jump to conclusions. Assuming another’s guilt and letting fly with “harsh words” and threats of retribution.
What we need to do is stop. Think. And before we speak take the time to consider all the angles. Weigh up all the arguments. Even put ourselves in their shoes.
Especially since people are generally prone to defensiveness when confronted and accused.
And remember that we too are just as imperfect (John 7:53-8:11).
After all. We are all condemned and thus we all deserve God’s “wrath” (Ephesians 2:3).
Yet, thankfully, Jesus “delivers [believers] from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
prayer : thank God that I’m not “destined for wrath” but have “obtained salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
action : practice answering softly