‘A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention.’ Proverbs 15:18 NKJV
Solomon repeatedly advises us to be ‘slow to anger’ (Proverbs 14:29; 15:18; 16:32). Take your Bible and read those Scriptures slowly, thoughtfully, and prayerfully. Pay close attention to the occasions in Scripture when Jesus got angry (which are few), and something will immediately jump out at you. He never became angry over what someone did to Him. He never retaliated or lashed out at people who wronged Him. Even as His executioners nailed Him to the cross, He prayed, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34 KJV) Pretty amazing, isn’t it? So if you’re serious about following Jesus, you must learn to follow suit!
The Bible says, ‘A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.’ (Proverbs 15:1 NKJV) Have you ever noticed how professional firefighters almost never fight fire with fire? Most times water is a much better tool. In the same way, a soft reply to an angry comment is like pouring the cool water of calmness on the fire of a hot temper.
A Kenyon College speech research unit confirmed through a series of experiments that, when people are yelled at, they almost always yell back. The research also proved that you can control another person’s tone of voice, depending on the tone you adopt. If you keep your voice soft, not only will you avoid becoming angry, but most likely you will prevent the other person from getting upset too. Do you want to be more Christlike and more successful in dealing with others? Then the word for today is—‘Be slow to anger.’
SoulFood: 1 Sam 27–31, John 1:43–51, Ps 23, Pro 23:4–5
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023