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Monday, October 26, 2015

Gentleness Can Calm Conflict

In review of Proverbs 15:1 it says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Bottom Line:
A gentle answer deflects anger, whereas harsh words will stir them up.

What this means to me:
A gentle answer on my part can help deflect anger or soothe angry feelings. Any harsh words on my part will likely stir up anger and cause quarrels.

I think our natural tendencies are to mimic the emotions of those we interact with. For instance, if somebody gets angry with me, I tend to get angry back. If somebody is really depressed and I end up hanging around them long enough, I end up getting depressed.

In the same way, when someone raises their voice against me, I usually raise my voice back. Then they raise their voice higher. Then I raise mine even higher. Before I know it, it’s escalated, and our emotions are out of control.

This verse reminds me that, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1 NIV).

What I need to learn is to do is instead of mirroring when someone raises their voice to me, I instead lower mine in response. That would be exercising meekness, or using strength under control.  Gentleness on my part will defuses conflict and de-escalates anger.

Also someone rips into you, I need to realize that it may have nothing to do with me. So instead of getting defensive, practice gentleness. Let my gentle answer disarm the other person and diffuse the situation.

In summary,  gentle answer on my part can help deflect anger or soothe angry feelings. Any harsh words or response on my part will likely stir up anger and cause quarrels. This morning I thank you God for the reminder to be gentle in my response to others. Harshness on my part only escalates conflict and does not reflect a spirit of love. I need to remember to respond with calmness and gentleness always. I should strive to be more of a peace maker than one who stirs up anger. I should think about and consider how I’m representing God with my life. I’m likely best Christian someone else knows and I want to represent him well to others. He deserves my best.

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