A Soft Word
Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Sometimes the worst interpersonal conflicts occur when one person speaks a sharp word to another. Too often, the recipient of the harsh word responds in kind, and the confrontation escalates into something neither party wanted or intended.

How many times have friendships been broken, or familial bonds weakened, or any other kind of relationship suffered because hard words were met with more hard words? Anger begets anger, and too often it degenerates into violence. It does little good to engage in such confrontational conversation.

Often, a soft reply does much to cool down the anger of another. Often it grabs peace out of the jaws of conflict. It allows time for pause, for the settling down of tempers, and hopefully for resolution and reconciliation. Making a gentle answer in the face of irritation or anger from another does not guarantee peace, but it increases the chances that it will occur.

Christ calls on us to be peacemakers, and giving a gentle reply to words of wrath can go a long way to helping us create peace between each other. And who knows? In the process you may even gain a new friend.

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