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  • Writer's picturePastor John Anderson

A Soft Answer

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

Years ago, a large statue of Christ was erected high in the Andes on the border between Argentina and Chile. Called "Christ of the Andes," the statue symbolized a pledge between the two countries that as long as the statue stands, there will be peace between Chile and Argentina.

Shortly after the statue was erected, the Chileans began to protest that they had been slighted -- the statue had its back turned to Chile. Just when tempers were at their highest in Chile, a Chilean newspaperman saved the day. In an editorial that not only satisfied the people but made them laugh, he simply said, "The people of Argentina need more watching over than the Chileans. 

God places a high premium on the way we respond to others when they are angry. There are moments of frustration and anger that are directed at us in life. How will we respond? My natural bent is to fight fire with fire. Human nature is to retaliate, come back stronger, and show dominance and control by putting someone in their place. Does this work?

James reminds us that "the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." - James 1:20 Retaliating in anger and getting our pound of flesh may make us feel better for a few minutes, but it certainly will not accomplish anything spiritual and valuable in the sight of God. Here are a few things I would suggest to you before you respond in anger:

1. Walk Away

2. Pray

3. Pause (Do not resume the conversation with the person who has caused the offense until you can legitimately pray for them and for God's best in their life.) *Should not take long

4. Forgive

5. Respond with the spirit to resolve not retaliate.

6. Reaffirm the value of the relationship.

7. Move Forward

A newspaperman trying to resolve conflict between two nations should not have more wisdom and grace than people who know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior! Respond with a soft answer today, you may just discover that God's Word really does work!

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