Ever wonder what happened to make one’s anger flare? Perhaps, yours. I am reminded of this Scripture where we learn how to limit the amount of anger that flares in one situation or another. We find our answer in Proverbs 15:1.
“A gentle answer turns anger away.
But mean words stir up anger (NIRV).”
If you are anything like me (I hope you aren’t, by the way), you start out on response A – then somehow you find yourselves trailing reaction B.
Meaning: You start out as one with soft answers. The kind you might of even planned out in advance, as you prayed to God, your Creator, about the situation and what to say. Then somewhere along the line, you are given:
- A look.
- A word.
- Perhaps, even silence.
You have allowed your anger to be flared. The flood gates have opened. You might even let aloud a “oh no, they didn’t?!?!”.
Our Natural Tendency
While we may know that a person’s word or actions have flared our anger, we have to admit something. We have allowed the floodgates of our wrath to be opened. We can’t project all of the blame onto that person or situation. We play a role in the mess we find ourselves in. While we can’t take all the credit (unless we are having a really bad day – and hey, it happens!), we do need to take the blame that is rightfully ours.
In this Scripture, my translation says “mean words”. But, what if we are mean without intending to be? Because, that reality happens too. In the KJV, it uses the word “grievous” – which is defined as “hardship, sorrow, pain, and offense.” People offend us with their words. This is the dangerous part of knowing… “a harsh word stirs up wrath (NET).” We can offend without setting out on that intention. This is where I trust God’s grace to stand in.
God’s Grace, My Comfort
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16, NASB).”
I trust God’s grace to stand in the places where I have screwed up. God’s grace is the overflowing goodness, that spills over into my relationships. Through the grace of God, I have been forgiven of much. As I am forgiven first by God and then by others, I forgive others.
As human beings, we all will struggle with our words at times. This is not a license to sin, but the reminder that the grace of God that comes through the person of Jesus Christ – is more than enough to transform my shortcomings into something beautiful. As Joseph said in Genesis 50:20, God can turn what was once-used-for-evil-for-His-ultimate-good.
We all are guilty of misusing our words, but God’s grace is more than enough to transform every situation where we spoke things we should not have spoken and/or our anger has been flared.
“Most of all, love each other steadily and unselfishly, because love makes up for many faults (1 Peter 4:8, VOICE).”