A SOFT answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger. [Prov 25:15]
As I was going through my bible last night, my eyes rested on this portion of scripture. I began to challenge myself on this verse, trying to think back on the encounters I had with people in the past, and whether my reaction was in line with the advice given by the wise king Solomon.
I must confess that it didn’t look to good as I analyzed each encounter where I was spoken to in a rough manner and I reacted in accordance with the above scripture verse.
The tongue is a very potent weapon which can be used positively or negatively. James tells us that with the tongue we bless the Lord and with it we curse men who are made in God’s likeness. [James 3:9].
In major cities, it is so difficult to pass the litmus test of turning away wrath with a soft answer. We are brought up to assert our rights and forcefully too. I have seen parents tell their children to retaliate when anyone beats them in school. I have seen cases where parents beat their children for not fighting back when they are bullied in school. Such children grow up to use either their fists or tongue as weapons of defence.
Another area where negative use of the tongue is usually seen is while driving. I was on my way home in colleague’s car one day. It has been a long day and we were caught up in heavy traffic. The driver behind us kept blaring his horn each time cars ahead moved forward, not minding that we had cars in front of us moving slowly. We ignored his honking and kept moving on. Suddenly we felt the impact as the guy hit us from the back! I was so furious and so was my friend. I however held my peace but the waves of anger were raging dangerously beneath my cool exterior.
We came down from the car to examine the damage and finding none, turned to the man wondering why he behaved in such an unruly manner. Instead of being sorry, he was livid with anger and shouted at us to get our car of the road! That was the last straw. I proceeded to give the man a sound thrashing with my tongue though in a semi-controlled way, having regard to the fact that I am a Christian. After the whole episode, I didn’t feel victorious, rather, I felt empty. I felt that I had lost something. I had given my tongue power to unleash its terror.
Some days later, I went to the office of a colleague in another branch of my company. You can imagine my embarrassment when he told me that he was in the traffic the other day and actually saw me in action! He playfully calls me pastor and he said, ‘Pastor, I didn’t know you could get angry too, that man must have done something to make you so upset’. I got the message. Since then I have been striving through the help of God to keep my tongue in check. I would rather not talk than to allow words flow out unchecked.
Let us strive to keep out tongue in check, choosing to bless rather than curse, encourage rather than discourage, comfort rather than discomfort and speak god rather than speak evil. If we must gossip, let us gossip the gospel. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to do these. That is what separates us from unbelievers.
The next time someone speaks roughly at you, remember the words of a wise king, ‘A soft answer turns away wrath’
(c) Biblepraise Fellowship Online
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader as well as Home Group Leader in his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online Ministry and Moderator/Editor of the Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org