Together in Christ: 'Don't Keep Stirring!' — Proverbs 15:1

Thursday, July 11, 2024

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
— Proverbs 15:1 NLT

Key Thought

I love the simple, straightforward truth God gives us in the biblical collection of Proverbs. Today's relationship verse from Proverbs is concise and clear. If we add harsh words in response to someone who is angry and hostile with us, we add fuel to anger's fire. As we keep adding such fuel, the fire will eventually burn up our friendship, marriage, and fellowship. A gentle answer calms the fire, reduces the heat, and de-escalates the emotion. A similar proverb says it this way:

Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood. [1]

Jesus' half-brother, James, says it this way:

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. [2]

God expects us to be the redeeming influence in every relationship and every personal encounter. He wants us to demonstrate the righteous character, gracious compassion, and faithful lovingkindness that Jesus did. So, I hope you will join me in trying to hit the pause button, listen, pray, think, and respond in angry and hostile situations with respect and integrity as a follower of Jesus — not as a hot head responding to a hot head with bords that burn down the relationships involved.

[1] Proverbs 26:20.
[2] James 1:19-20.

Today's Prayer

Father in heaven, I need the Holy Spirit to pour Your love into my heart *, so I can demonstrate in my relationships the "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" ^ that Jesus demonstrated in His relationships, friendships, and hostile encounters. I need this grace, O, Lord! Please grow me into Jesus' likeness in these ways. In the name of the Lord Jesus, I pray. Amen.

* Romans 5:5; John 7:37-39.
^ Galatians 5:22-23.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Galatians 3:13-26
  • James 2:19-20

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Illustration

Illustration of Proverbs 15:1 NLT — A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.