“Anger is one letter short of DANGER.” ~ Unknown
“A gentle answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18 (NIV)
When anger rises within you, consider the power within a softly spoken word. An enemy who is hard of hearing and unable to discern shouts of fury will strive to ascertain a whispered reply. Although you may FEEL like yelling out complaints, you will get more notice and consideration if you avoid harsh words and a loud unfriendly tone.
Using a soft and gentle voice in the midst of a problematic situation helps to move one forward in remedying matters of contention. On the other hand, angry words and a loud reply only serve to agitate a pot of discord.
Outbursts of anger sheathe a deeper root of pride and a false sense of justice, often leading to carless vocalizations of disrespect. Arrows of spite fly, often aimed at an enemy who was once a peer or neighbor, with a self-righteous intent to wound and conquer. Possible resolutions are now futile at this point, for the original point of discord has long been forgotten. All that remains is a battlefield covered with emotional debris and unforgiveness.
One who has the self-control to remain patient and calm during an argument is wise and discerning.
“Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. Proverbs 29:11 (NIV)
Is it easy to calm yourself and speak words of love when you are angry? No.
Is it a sign of maturity when you think before you speak? Yes.
Is maintaining inner peace while addressing conflict a sign that the fruit of the Spirit is evident in your life? Yes.
Can you take back hurtful words once they have been uttered and pitched? No.
Can forgiveness follow harshly spoken words? Yes.
Did Jesus use patience and soft answers with His disciples? Yes.
Is the saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me” true? No, not at all!
We are called to love. We are told to witness with gentleness and respect. Speaking with unkind words or a tone of voice that sends shivers down the spine is not love. Love speaks the truth but it is always patient, gentle, and kind.
“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how canhe love God whom he has not seen?” 1 John 4:20 (NKJV)
The next time you find yourself in an argument pretend you are looking in a mirror. Observe your face. Would your expression put someone on the defensive? Can you see gentleness, love, and honesty in your eyes? How would YOU react if you were speaking with a person wearing this face?
Words can be destructive or life giving, toxic or encouraging. They have the power to bind up or set free. What will your words serve up today, misery and heartache or exultation and delight?
USE YOUR QUIET TIME TO REFLECT UPON YOUR EMOTIONAL STATE, AND THEN APPLY THE WISDOM OF THESE SCRIPTURES TO YOUR LIFE.
“The words of the reckless pierce like swords,but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22 (NKJV)
This is a devotion from my upcoming book FACING ADVERSITY WITH WISDOM, PRAISE AND PROMISES. Check out my other books on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Cheryl%20Zelenka&sprefix=Chery%2Caps