[b]A Soft Answer[/b] By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us earnestly seek to soften our tongues rather than sharpen them. The Lord's ways are not our ways, or His thoughts our thoughts. It would seem that a sharpened tongue would send a word deeper than a soft word could, but His ways are not our ways. When responding to an aggressive word, a sharp word will often only serve to cut or wound. It will not likely turn the wrath away, only delay the battle till another day. A soft answer on the other hand is like the substance asbestos. Although, now largely outlawed, it was once the leading fire retardent in the world. The qualities that made it that way were that it was soft, easily applied to multiple types of surfaces and very resistant to flame. A soft answer is like asbestos in that it takes the full brunt of the flames without catching fire itself. We are not much help to a situation when we allow vehement flames to simply catch us on fire and then go running around spreading the flames to others. Remember this in a situation where the flames of tension and confusion have already been at work. It is very likely that both sides in such a fire are hearing things that are difficult to deal with. Large fires always send embers high aloft and widespread. Remember, both sides in such a fire have similar emmotions, and the same temptatons to insecurity and carnal reactions that we all are subject to. The enemy uses this confusion to supply weapons to both sides in hopes that they will continue to go at it with each other. Let's be careful not to find ourselves holding hands with the accuser of our brothers or using the ammo he is happy to supply. We may all have read or heard things difficult to hear, such as statements that are unfair or extreme that place us in a bad light. Be careful not to be set ablaze by such things and remember that our own tongues have been used by the enemy to do this to others numerous times. In these situations, let us not miss the opportunity we have to forgive others as we have been forgiven. Let's especially remember that we have often yielded to hurt and missed the way of escape oursleves. If it becomes obvious that others have missed the way of escape, let's not forget how we too have been shown mercy for the very same errors. May those who have grown in this area lead the way for others and be examples of just how much heat they can take without catching fire. Another suggestion for avoiding the fire season - stay saturated with living water. The rainy season is not usually a time of fire hazard in many areas. Things that are fresh and green don't burn that easily.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
As it says in Proverbs 15:1, "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." Thanks for posting this. :-)
I know this is an older post but I wanted to share my heart on this subject. The Lord's heart is a soft answer - or no speaking. Such as when He was being accused. It goes along with what the Lord has been teaching me. Hold my peace and let Him fight my battles. That is so hard sometimes. And His ways and timing are not mine. So I may have to wait a long time or maybe never to see the results I want but I trust the Lord as His Word is so true. I would just love to chew some wrong doers out!! But the Lord wont let me. I guess if it would do good to do so the Lord would have us do it. But it rarely brings forth good fruit to chew someone out in my experience or to be chewed out for that matter. That's why the Lord says to correct someone in love and only when He leads and only when our heart is right.The H.S. has been really speaking to me about love. I see the love of my Savior, my Heavenly Father. I read in the Word - love, love, love, forgive, do unto others on and on. Lay down your life, turn the other cheek etc. Then the Lord says the 10 Commandments are summed up in love. Love the Lord our God and our neighbor... Not easy as it goes against our human nature. But we get a tad of a taste of what Jesus went through when we are treated unjustly and then look at His response - that's what He asks of me - of us. And from my experience it comes to a choice. And sometimes a battle of my mind. But as I make the choice to follow the Lord's ways - I have peace, I grow and the most important I believe it releases the Lord to be Himself and freely do the work. I mess things up when I go my way. I have done it!!! Now it is easier to let the Lord do it. I see how little in myself and the Church where unconditional love really is in our hearts. But as the H.S. shines on our shortcomings prayerfully we will turn to the Lord and He will definitely see us to the other side and have victory. I am really seeing how much love means to the Lord. More than ever before. It is wonderful. Hard but wonderful.Anyway, I just wanted to share my heart too on the subject since it is what the Lord is speaking to me as well. My - Our - job is to do His will as it will bring peace that passes all understanding and joy unspeakable and full of glory.I enjoyed your words and thoughts Brother, thank you for sharing this and thank you for allowing me to share my heart. Amen and Amen - to God be the Glory!
What a great important thread this is. Thanks. Sermon on the mount again.