A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. ~ Proverbs 15:1
This verse holds the “secret” of how to stop a fight in its tracks. Even the most peaceable among us have been one half of an angry confrontation. Those, like me, who can get incensed easily, have difficulty responding with a soft answer. Charles Bridges says it like this: “We would rather feed than quench the angry flame and, before we know it, pride and passion on both sides strike together and behold! ‘how great a matter a little fire kindleth’ . (James 3:5) Thus, there is self-pleasing sarcasm. We’d rather lose a friend than miss a cleaver stroke.”
I have been guilty of letting pride take over my mind and mouth. I have also seen the blessings of heeding this passage and reaping the peace that follows. As my dad used to say, it takes two to tango. If one person refuses to argue, the argument ends. Finished. Finito. Terminado. Fertig. You get the idea.
In moments of quietness, it seems easy to nod in agreement to this verse. Yet, when the “angry flame” flares up, it’s far easier to fan it than to snuff it out. To answer and angry man softly requires strength not of might, but of the will! However, if I can meditate upon God’s Word regularly, I will have a greater chance of obeying it when temptation leaps out at me. I pray God will help me to hold my tongue and answer softly the next time I am faced with an angry confrontation. I also pray that I will not lash out at someone in anger and force them to use this verse on me!