Friday, 25 March 2011

A SOFT ANSWER

Prov 15 v 1 - 2:   A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly.

I am not known for my diplomacy.  I tend to be direct and some people think I am being rude when all I am doing is cutting out all the fluff in the conversation.  Don’t get me wrong, my friends and family get me.  They know that I'm not being obnoxious.  I have no time for pretence and embellishments in conversation.   Especially in business.  For example, I am phoning to give you some information and my concern is this information, not whether you are enjoying the weather and what you did on the weekend (this is of course for someone with whom I only have business dealings).  However, I could improve.  Its not easy for me as when I try diplomacy, I usually muck that up too.  I think what I am trying to say is that my interpersonal skills are not the best.  

I believe that is why God has so much in His word about the tongue and words.  We are to be examples of how Jesus would deal with something and many people judge Jesus by what we say.  It’s a huge responsibility but one which God gives us the grace and tools to handle.  And if we handle it wrong, we need be humble enough to go and apologise for how or what we said.  When you approach someone with humility you normally take the wind out of their anger sails and things can be resolved.  No one can say that the bible, God’s written word to us, does not contain practical and useful advise on how to behave and handle situations.

There are many scriptures that deal with how we use our words: 

Prov 10 v 19:  In a multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
Psalm 34 v 13:  Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile.
Psalm 39 v 1:  I said, "I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,  while the wicked are before me."

I really like that scripture because it says 2 things to me.  1stly, I must muzzle my mouth which implies I must bite my tongue even though there is so much to be said!!! and 2ndly, what is my witness in front of those who do not know the Lord as their personal saviour.  Which leads me to the scripture right on top, with all this knowledge, if we are wise (or trying ever so hard to be so) we would use this knowledge rightly.

My encouragement to you is dont despair and dont give up and use every opportunity  that comes your way to by wise with your tongue (and if you are anything like me those opportunities are generously available), try to give a soft answer, or be wise and be quiet.  There is a scripture which I cant find right now that says even a fool looks wise when he holds his tongue.  When our mothers told us "If you have nothing nice to say, dont say it" it may not be straight out the bible but biblical nevertheless! 

Remember the power that is in the tongue to give life or death!
God bless


TKT

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