"A Soft Answer"

May 08, 2023 | By Chuck

          Just this week I was standing in the Walmart parking lot having a conversation with someone I had not seen in a while when I witnessed the most disturbing situation. A man and a woman in two separate vehicles were driving parallel to one another through the parking lot while yelling derogatory remarks at each other out the window. We both noticed and stopped our conversation for a minute to acknowledge how ridiculous the scene was. It was sad and potentially dangerous. Sad because people are so comfortable screaming at others, especially in a public setting. It was dangerous because how attentive were they to their driving and surroundings as they literally screamed at one another?

            Please understand that I’m not perfect. Trust me, there have been times when I wanted to respond to someone’s words or actions in anger and a raised voice. I don’t believe it helps the situation at all. We often make the situation worse when we respond in anger and with a raised voice. It’s like pouring gas on a burning flame; it grows bigger and more out of control. We need to give our response clear thought before we speak our answer. A kind answer is very likely to defuse the potentially volatile situation.

            “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.” (Proverbs 15:1-2)