1 A gentle answer turns away anger,but a harsh word stirs up wrath. Proverbs 15:1
Have you noticed that there are some verses that mess with you? It seems that our wiring must be all wrong. I went up into the attic of our home a few years back because of a remodel in our kitchen. As I began to inspect the wiring I noticed there seemed to be no rhyme or reason why some things were wired together. There were lights and switches from various parts of the house all wired together. I am no electrician but the groupings did not make sense to me. (I hired an electrician and it did not make sense to him either!) The wiring was also cracking and peeling which created a severe fire danger. After we got done, the new wiring brought a peace of mind that our house wouldn’t burn down because of faulty wiring. The verse at the beginning opens the attic of my life and looks around. It has a way of finding the faulty wiring and raises questions.
Why couldn’t this be that an aggressive answer overpowers? Why couldn’t this be that the louder one wins? Why couldn’t there be an exception when it comes to tweener attitude? In any case, the Bible implores us that we are to meet anger with gentleness, loud with soft, and wrath with love.
I try to avoid this verse because it convicts me. Every time I read this verse it reminds me of how often I fall into the trap of arguments. I want to go stealth or scream at times with not much in between. This verse convicts me because I realize that a gentle answer comes from a heart that is beating in time with God’s. If my kids or my job are so disruptive that the gentle answer is far removed then my heart gets out of rhythm. If my heartbeat is wrong the electrical signals are getting jammed and other things begin to falter. I must be out of step. I must be eating wrong. I need to exercise. This verse convicts me. Does it you?
I try to avoid this verse because it challenges me. It is so easy to say what so many do. “I am just wired that way.” Have you heard that statement? Have you used that statement? Sin came into our lives and rewired our system. For anyone who has not placed faith in Jesus I could understand using an excuse of natural wiring. For those whose lives have been changed by the power of the Spirit, a re-wiring has taken place. Through faith, forgiveness has come in and wired the system back into compliance with the code. For me to respond with anything other than a gentle answer is going back to the faulty wiring. Who in their right mind would exchange right wiring with wrong? The level of fire danger rises dramatically. The chance of losing everything comes quickly into play. No. We wouldn’t spend the time and money of getting everything back to code only to go back and change it again. This verse challenges me. Does it you?
Take a minute and pull down the schematics of your life. Whose stamp of approval do you find? If the only stamp you find is your own then you are running the risk of fault and failure. If the stamp you find is that of God, then the wiring is there and you ought not change it to fit your desires.