A gentle answer deflects anger, but a harsh word makes tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1 NLT
Read: Proverbs 15:1-2
Listen: Proverbs 15
Harsh words fan the flames of anger. However, gentle words can deflect anger. They can save a friendship, restore a family and get a marriage back on track. Using gentle words is not a sign of weakness. It takes tremendous strength to de-escalate a volatile conversation while maintaining your dignity. It takes the power of God working through you.
A gentle word is the right word at the right time. It is not returning an insult for an insult, but a blessing instead (1 Peter 3:9-11). It is responding with humility and kindness. It’s helpful to have a few gentle phrases in mind like, “Thank you for telling me how you feel, I need to think about this,” or “I’m not sure what to say right now,” or simply, “I’m sorry.” Gentle words also require a soft tone, pleasant facial expression and humble body language. Sometimes silence instead of a “come-back” is the gentlest response.
Wrong words at the wrong time cannot be taken back. Have a plan before they happen. If a conversation escalates, pray silently for God’s help to respond kindly, or to stay silent. Seek to keep the peace by remembering, “Gentle words are a tree of life” (Proverbs 15:4).
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Gentleness requires the desire to respond kindly and preparation. Pray and ask God to give you the desire to be gentle. Ask him to help you think of one or two kind phrases you can use when there’s potential for conflict. Or ask someone you respect for some ideas. You can also talk with us. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.