How often is our own anger provoked by someone else that makes us feel insignificant – that our worth counts for nothing? We would do well to remember this when we encounter someone whose wrath is obvious in both their demeanor and tone. Consider Gideon’s response to the men of Ephraim in Judges 8:1-3 when they complained that he had only called them out belatedly. But Gideon’s praise of their accomplishments turned away they wrath.
Now look instead to David’s encounter with Nabal in 1 Samuel 25:10-13, where he insulted David and his mighty men. It was only Abigail’s soft and wise words in 1 Samuel 25:23-30 that quieted David’s anger, and kept him from doing what he would surely come to regret.
Sometimes the soft answer that is needed in such situations is simply that of kindness. Everyone wants and deserves to feel that they are important – that what they need, and what they feel matters. It does matter to God. It mattered to Jesus (Matthew 7:12). Shouldn’t it matter to us?
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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