Softer and Gentler
Today's reading: Proverbs 15:1; Proverbs 15:4
"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1).
"A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit" (Proverbs 15:4).
There are so many verses in Proverbs about our words and speech, and I find these two verses from Proverbs 15 particularly attractive and helpful. I can't tell you how many times I've benefited from choosing to hold back and not respond with the harsh or insensitive words that instantly fill my mind or a tone that is condescending, judgmental, disrespectful or that I know will inflict hurt.
One thing I've learned and observed over the years is that all relationships (family, work, friendships, marriage, business) function better when we choose to conduct ourselves in a calm, gentle manner. Certain situations may require us to move out of this "gentle mode," but more often than not, we will be served well by starting with a softer approach.
What do these verses reveal about the impact our tone and manner of speech have on those around us? How would you explain the wisdom of responding with a "soft answer" and using a "gentle tongue" to someone? In what situations might you use a calmer, gentler approach this week? Tami
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