“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” Proverbs 15:1.
Anger may be justified or not, but how we deal with it reveals our motives. Do we want to push someone’s hot button, or dial down the emotion in hopes of reaching a good outcome? It has been said that we often speak before we think. One key to developing the ability to respond with a soft answer is to think about it ahead of time. When someone comes to you in anger, annoyance, or irritation, plan to slow down, think before speaking, and make it a priority to defuse strife and not inflame it.
Our motives will be revealed in our words. If we have genuine care for the other person or even a selfish desire to live in peace, we will choose our words carefully. Once the anger is defused we can have a real conversation about the issue and possibly come to a resolution. Other times a solution may not be required; sometimes a person just wants to know that someone else knows how he or she feels.
In any event avoiding harsh words will have a beneficial affect.
Action: Seek to turn away wrath with a soft answer.