A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
Stirring Up Anger
You have an easy choice to make. What’s that? You can either turn away from wrath or stir up anger. Is that really an easy choice to make? What do you think? Well, it may be an easy choice to make away from the heat of a battle. During an argument or debate, it is a very difficult choice to make. Why is that? I like to win arguments and debates. I’ve noticed. Sometimes, I will go to great lengths to win an argument or debate. How so? In the heat of an argument or debate I will sometimes say things that I know I will deeply regret later. But, I will completely lose perspective. What do you mean by that? I will make winning an argument or debate my only goal. I will use words I shouldn’t have used. My words have done damage that is hard to repair. I will have said things that are difficult to retract. Whoever said, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” was an idiot. Words do hurt. Words do cause damage. Yes, they do.
Why must you win every argument and debate? That is a very good question. You don’t have to think twice about your answer, do you? No, I do not. It is my pride that drives me to want to win every argument and debate. That sounds and is pathetic, I know. Yes, it is. Can you lay down your pride? Can you humble yourself before me? Can you make better choices that will allow you to be my witness in the world? That is at issue here, isn’t it? Yes, it is. You cannot be filled with pride and driven to win every argument and debate and still be a bright and shinning witness for me in the world. You cannot stir up anger and bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. No one is drawn to stirred up anger. I cannot use a pride filled, angry, argumentative person. That is not who you want to be. That is not who you are. That is not the kind of life that I have called you to live. I get that. I want that. I know.
I want you to make some decisions in advance. Like what? Make serving me your goal. Choose to bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. Set aside your old sinful desire to win every argument and debate. Walk away from wrath. Choose to not stir up anger. Have a higher purpose in mind. Allow me to work in and through your life. Shine brightly for me in the midst of all the wrath and anger that is in the world. Will you make these decisions so that you can serve me? Will you make these decisions so I can use you? Yes Lord, I will.
Lord, without your help there is no way I will be able to answer anger with a soft answer. I would rather fight fire with fire. Give me the strength to be your witness by answering anger softly with the grace and mercy you provide. Amen
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