Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Anger & Wrath


A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Proverbs 15:1 KJV

A soft answer will turn away wrath, but a word of trouble will stir anger.
Proverbs 15:1 LEB

You may also want to read 1 Kings 12:13-16   (mouse over the scripture or try the link))

OK - I did it again!  Sure, I didn't particularly like the what she said, or the way she said it.  I haven't had an accident in twenty-five years or more -- and that one wasn't my fault!  Does she think she is the perfect driver?  I'm not the one that got a ticket for running a stop sign! Sure that was twenty years ago too. But -- No!  I was tired, I had  the beginnings of a big headache, I was in a bad mood. It was a rotten night at work.  I'm tired!

Those were all just poor excuses. Did I have to react that way.  Did I have to be so nasty?  Couldn't I have cooled my jets a bit?  This unnecessary argument could have been completely avoided.  A word of trouble will stir anger.  It did stir up anger - both my anger and her's.

Sometimes it is not what we say but how we say it that stirs up the wrath.  Ignoring the situation is not something I do very well.  However, not addressing what was said may even add to the problem. -- Did you hear me?  Are you ignoring me?  Definitely, angry yelling is not the way to go.  

A soft answer is often consolatory.  It can diffuse the situation.   It can stop the anger before it rages out of control.  This is good advice.  It should have been used it the above situation. Proverbs are based on wisdom, and observation of human behavior.  A soft answer will turn away wrath. Remember, this is not a promise from God. 

Will I remember the advice the next time?  Well, that will take considerable prayer on my part.  Chances are you will be in a situation similar to this -- try Soloman's advice.   Let me know how it works.

Of the seven deadly sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back; in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you” (Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking)

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