Sunday, September 29, 2019
Proverbs 15

“A gentle word turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.” This might actually be one of my favorite proverbs simply because it solves so many of today’s chaotic and dramatic moments. Why do we respond to other people’s anger or insensitivity with harsh words? Sadly, the answer is pride. We get completely lost in how great and amazing we are and take every word of ridicule as an offense. I have learned over many years that I am just not that big of a deal. My title was given to me by God. My talent was a gift from Him; even my tithe is giving back to Him a portion of what He has given me. My life without Jesus has little value, but in Christ, I am something special, important, and needed in this world. In that mindset, I can respond to accusations and rebuke with a gentle answer. I can see constructive criticism for what it is and walk away from that which is meant to hurt or tear down. My goal is to respond appropriately no matter the situation because it honors the Lord and stops the drama and chaos that rules so many lives today. A gentle answer helps calm a situation and normally does not add more fuel to an already hot fire. The embers quickly cool when we do not respond in kind and create more anger. Jesus never held back the truth, but He always gently answered every criticism and rebuke knowing they would eventually take it all and use it against Him. Even still, He was blameless before them. Are you blameless before your family, your co-workers, and your church friends? We are considered blameless when our words in a heated moment match those in normal, everyday conversation. We actually give Jesus glory when we respond with a “gentle answer.”

Help me, Lord, to answer the rebukes and criticisms of today with a gentle answer. Help me to honor You with my responses and to trust that You will keep the anger of others at bay or cool the embers completely.