Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Sometimes we think that we can win an argument by using harsh words; in reality, we are only causing our enemies to become more entrenched. How should we handle our differences with others? Rather than being quarrelsome and argumentative, Solomon encourages us to be gentle. Consider this story about David and his dealings with a man named Nabal.
1 Samuel 25:2 Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel, and the man was very rich. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 The name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance; but the man was harsh and evil in his doings. 4 When David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep, 5 David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. 6 And thus you shall say to him who lives in prosperity: ‘Peace be to you, peace to your house, and peace to all that you have! Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds were with us, and we did not hurt them, nor was there anything missing from them all the while they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore, let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David.’”
9 So when David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in the name of David, and waited. 10 Then Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, “Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away each one from his master. 11 Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?” 12 So David’s young men turned on their heels and went back; and they came and told him all these words. 13 Then David said to his men, “Every man gird on his sword.” So every man girded on his sword, and David also girded on his sword.
Rather than helping David, Nabal insulted him. Filled with rage, David ordered his men to strap on their swords and prepare for battle. But then Nabal’s wife said these words of wisdom to David.
1 Samuel 25:30 When the Lord has done for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Israel, that this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself.”
“One day,” she said, “when God has finally made you the king of Israel, don’t let a moment of careless rage be a blemish on your record. Don’t go through life with a guilty conscience for having done something hasty and foolish.”
1 Samuel 25:32 Then David said to Abigail: “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33 And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand.”
It’s hard to hold our peace and not fight back when others are attacking us. Yet harsh words do more harm than good. It is the gentle answer that dispels their anger and turns away their wrath. I leave you today with these words from Paul, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:17-19)
God bless you, Brethren.
* Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New King James Version.
I love this! Thank you