A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.Proverbs 15:1 NIV
The day after the Capitol was invaded, I saw an image of politically-motivated expletives spray-painted 10-feet high in neon orange on the brick exterior of a local church. Naturally, the Christian community was outraged.
I was angry and disgusted, not only about the vandalism, but also to see fellow believers expressing their anger condemning the vandals with the very same four-letter word screaming from the church building.
In disbelief, I yelled “Good Grief, what is wrong with people! How can they call themselves Christians and use the same vulgar language as the criminals? That just makes us all look like jerks!”
As soon as the words left my lips, the Holy Spirit whispered, “How was your reaction any different?”
And I realized that, even though I didn’t use foul language, I spoke from the same spirit of condemnation and self-righteousness as those who did.
King Solomon offers a better way in Proverbs 15. We can turn away wrath with gentleness. For example, I could have prayed for my fellow believers, and asked them to consider how Jesus would want us to react.
Jesus, I’m sorry spoke in haste, and I ask for your forgiveness. I want my speech to reflect Your love rather than the world’s wrath. The next time my emotions rise, please help me remember to pause, seek you, and respond with a gentle answer. Thank you for your grace and guidance to choose a better way. Amen.