Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Ian Rees, Bath, England [SEE PROFILE BELOW]

Part 8 of 11 of the series Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World

Precious Seed

A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger, Proverbs 15. 1

The natural thing to do when someone is angry with you is to reply in anger: yet how often we regret the words once they are out of our mouths.The tongue, despite being such a small part of the body, has an influence very much inverse to its size. How many wars, conflicts, divorces, suicides, divisions and distresses have been caused by angry words and unruly tongues!

One writer has said, ‘We yield to irritation, retort upon our neighbour, have recourse to selfjustification, insist upon the last word, say all that we could say . . . neither party gives up an atom of the will. Pride and passion on both sides strike together like two flints, and what a fire is kindled’. It is almost as though we would rather lose a friend than lose face.

How happy must he be who never regrets the swift retort, the angry response, the sarcastic dig, the instinctive bite of the tongue. The sign of a wise person is not his or her business acumen, nor is it extensive knowledge of a subject. It is the ability to control the tongue. The ‘soft answer’ which turns away wrath - the kind reply or the gentle comment, in other words – is like water that quenches a flame, defusing a potential row.‘Grievous words’,however – the nasty, unkind reaction – are like oil that causes a fire to blaze all the more.

We, who in this modern world claim Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Saviour are encouraged to be compassionate and understanding to one another, ‘not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing; but [on the contrary] blessing’, 1 Pet. 3. 9. After all, our Lord is our great Example in this, for when He was reviled, He ‘reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously’, 1 Pet. 2. 23. Think before you reply; it will make all the difference. It is far better to walk away from an altercation regretting what the other person said, rather than regretting what you said.

AUTHOR PROFILE: IAN REES saw an assembly planted in Francistown, Botswana, having served the Lord there for 13 years. Now based in the UK, he was in fellowship in Manvers Hall, Bath, one of his commending assemblies. He has now moved to establish a new assembly in Tenby, West Wales. He is married and has seven children.

There are 33 articles in
ISSUE (2006, Volume 61 Issue 1)

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William Kelly - The Irish Saint and Scholar

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

There are 11 articles in this series

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Job

Wise words from the book of Job

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

There are 31 articles by this author

‘Wonna bet?’

What can God do?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Job

What does God know?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Who made God?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

What does God look like?

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Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Is God ever unfair?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Job

Is God ever unkind?

Behaving ourselves in the house of God

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

IN MY PLACE

Abortion - The Moral Maze

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Stepping stones . . . through the Bible day by day

A Brief History of the Authorised (King James) Version

How God Called Me to Full-time Service

Characters Around the Crucifixion

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Ciaphas who Sacrificed Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Part 3 - Peter Who Denied Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Part 4 - Herod who Mocked Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion. Part 5 Pilate Who Condemned Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Part 6 - Simon Who Helped Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion - The Thief who turned to Him - Part 7