A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger – Proverbs 15:1
I created a MySpace and Facebook account years ago in their infancy partly as a social experiment to see what students liked and talked about and general what mattered to them. But this monster grew into something unbelievable; a type of terror that exists to rob people of their time, to give them a license to say whatever they want, to whomever they want, whenever they want without any feelings of liability or responsibility. Disagreements with and by believers, politics, social and economic trends and the like have given people a “safe haven” to speak their mind, destroying the character and integrity of others and themselves frankly while hiding behind Freedom of Speech when the scriptures that we are supposed to hold dear to our heart teach us to “Speak the Truth in Love”. Going further we read in Eph. 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen“.
Does this truth not resonate in our hearts as we type and text? I find Chapter 4 of Ephesians an amazing chapter because the content is speaking boldly about the maturity of believers and gives us sound teaching and instruction for Christian living which is largely ignored unless it fits the mood of the day or whether or not someone has hurt us and made us angry.
But please allow me to focus on one passage that this message begins with – A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger – Proverbs 15:1.
It is my prayer and I believe the desire of Almighty God that people listen as I dissect this verse and shine some light on a few words within.
Why should we care how we use words? Let’s first look at the word SOFT – A Soft answer… This speaks of something…well…soft, something that is tender or delicate. This word however is much deeper. This “soft answer” speaks as one who is innocent like the words of a small child, innocent in the way they think and see things, innocent because these strong words would never be used by such innocence.
The second word I would like to illuminate is the word WRATH. Now this really isn’t that hard to define or understand but we really need to look deep within the meaning and intent of this word. It obviously is speaking about anger, even hot indignation. But below the surface as we peel back the layers to the root we can see that this word “wrath” speaks of conceiving as though it were a sexual act and a human being is conceived in the womb. Wrath as it is conceived grows within and causes rage and bitterness and gives birth to evil. Look what Jesus has to say about wrath…
But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell – Matt. 5:22
Wrath poisons the heart and clouds our judgment and robs us of joy and fellowship with the Lord.
The last word I would like to view is the word ANGER. Now you may be thinking “wait, we just talked about that one”. Ummm…. NOT! This is a problem with the English language or maybe just how we choose to lazily communicate. WRATH and ANGER here have very different meanings. Anger literally means to blow our breath out of our nostrils. Think about it. How many times have our children pushed THE button and we take that deep breath and exhale through our nose, nostrils flaring our like a bull in the middle of the ring being tormented by a red cloth? Hot air blasting out, ready to destroy whatever is in our path. Not only this but this word even describes our facial expression or countenance contorting, wrinkling our forehead so there is little doubt when ANGER is on the loose.
My point? Look…the scriptures, GOD’s Word people, is supposed to teach us, educate us, steer us, guide us and there really isn’t any excuse for posting every disagreement and lashing out with hate and disgust at people and unloading every piece of dissatisfaction with life via Facebook, MySpace, texting…no matter how much you are hurt or suffering. Our attitudes should be more like, “Lord, walk my through this fiery furnace” not “well I’m hurt so I am going to take things into my own hands”.
Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper – Psalm 37:3
Trust in the Lord – With all the nonsense on the web, the negativity, anger, disagreements and the like bombarding our thoughts, how in the world are we to think about the things that are “noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8)
I say again TRUST in the Lord and do Good!
Father, Thank You for salvation! Thank You for the change! I pray that You would impress upon our hearts Your way of doing things by using our words to encourage, uplift and speak truth into the lives of people in our circle of influence because we love You. In Jesus name, Amen!