For Saturday May 20, 2023
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Leslie Flynn tells a story from the days when many people traveled by rail. A baby cried throughout the night, keeping the passengers awake. One exasperated traveler finally shouted to the man who was caring for the baby, “Why don’t you take that baby to its mother?” The answer was a soft reply, “I’d like to, sir, but its mother is in the baggage car in a coffin. We’re taking her home for burial.”
When we’re angry, we seldom speak our words wisely. It is possible, of course, to speak as Jesus did, with righteous indignation, when warranted. But most of the time we just blow our tops, and our rash words come back to haunt us. Someone quipped, “Happiness is often punctured by a sharp tongue.”
It’s not easy to learn to hold our tongues, but memorizing Proverbs 15:1 has helped multitudes of believers through the ages. It’s one of Scripture’s most powerful verses for learning to underreact to provocation. If you’ve never memorized it, commit it to memory today. If you have learned it, remind yourself of it.
You might have an occasion today to use it.
He who has a sharp tongue soon cuts his own throat.