A Soft Answer

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Our words are powerful. The Bible, in fact, reminds us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). They are so powerful that Jesus warned that “by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37).

This power is driven by the spirit with which we communicate. The tone of our voice. Our intentions. The attitude and atmosphere we create with these words.

This presents a particular challenge when we face people who are angry or who seek a confrontation. Our first tendency might be to be defensive or argumentative—to fight back. But the Bible reminds us that harsh words and unkind answers can lead to even more anger.

In contrast, words that are soft and gentle change the character of the conversation. Instead of intensifying conflicts, these answers can bring calm. When we have this attitude, we demonstrate that we are refusing to engage in verbal battles, and that our heart is not interested in winning a war but rather in engaging in conversation. In dialogue, fostering a spirit of harmony.

We also are reminded how easily we can “bubble forth with foolishness” (Proverbs 15:2 Expanded Bible). How we can engage in an endless flow of words spoken without discernment or control. Instead, we need to learn to be wise when we speak, careful to “use knowledge.” But also to seek the control of the Spirit. As Paul described, to “speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths” (1 Corinthians 2:13).

Today, ask God to help you control your words. Remember that they can wound or heal, tear down or build up.