Harsh Words

by Stan Mitchell
men-shaking-hands.jpgI remember in college (extremely good memory, right?) going out after studies with friends. We were young and energetic, and with typical youthful zest, we would kid and tease each other.
Mostly this was all in good fun, but there were times when the teasing went too far, and someone was hurt. It was at this point that one friend made use of a gentle answer that kindly, yet effectively, put an end to the joking.
He would say, “I love you, too.”
The wise man of Proverbs says something similar:
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” (Proverbs 15:1, ESV).
We’ve all been there. In a marriage, or a discussion with friends, with a church problem, the emotions rise, the disagreements heats up, emotions are raw. Then, someone rises in anger, a bitter denunciation on his lips, on the cusp of being delivered.
This is a decisive moment, the instant when an angry word will ignite an explosion, or a gentle answer will douse the flames.
Next time you’re in that situation, think of a gentle answer.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan began preaching in 1976, and worked in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He served as preacher with the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He was Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He was married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He authored five books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs; Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song; Equipping the Saints for Ministry; and Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation. Stan passed away 19 Feb. 2019.

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