Proverbs 15:1-2 cf Proverbs 14:17,29
I do not subscribe to any of the social media accounts, but I admit to ‘trolling’ my wife’s account from time to time. I have become increasingly disappointed at some to the comments I read. Some things are written that would not likely be said in person, as if the written word somehow lends anonymity to the author. Bravery at a distance is not courage and if often unkind.
The written word lacks the emphasis we put into vocal communications, so that which is written may come across differently and be misunderstood. If I write that I beat my wife up every morning, you might get the wrong idea completely! What I mean is that I rise from bed before she does. Context and inflection make a difference!
There are also misunderstandings that arise in conversations, therefore, the things that we write and the things we say ought to be carefully considered. Sometimes we re-act to a situation before we ought, when we would do better to wait, think and pray about our response; this way our proper action may be better received that our first re-action.
If our first answer is soft, it just may take the anger out of the response. When we answer harshness with like-sounding words, we add fuel to the fire. Proverbs 114:17 warns that a quick tempered man acts foolishly and verse 20 indicates that it is the wise man who is slow to wrath.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, as wrong as they may seem to us…and everyone is due to respect. When we answer softly, ears are more ready to hear what we have to say. Colossians 4:6 reads, “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” KJV Col 4:6
This means that our conversations should be seasoned with piety or grace in a way similar to that in which we add salt in our food. As salt makes our food flavorable and palatable, so with our conversations.
Adolph Baumbach set music to Psalm 19:14 and gave us the hymn, LET THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH. Sing it throughout the day and be reminded to give a soft answer!