Day 118 – What Gentle Answer?

A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15: 1 (NIV)


How many times have I read this Proverb? And I fail most of the time to even remember that there’s a “gentle answer” option. Much less use it.

I am telling  you – just 15 minutes ago I used some “harsh words” with my daughter. And I do believe they stirred up anger.

After all, she had left a toy grenade filled with water on my computer desk (this is the 13 year old who is teetering between young-womanhood and her tomboy ways – in addition to the smart alecky teenage stuff).

When I sat down to work on this post, the grenade then spilled all over my papers and the keyboard. When I said “Who did this?” Dear daugher immediately shot me the blame-shifting response: “You spilled it, Mom!”

I responded with a few choice words about lack of responsibility, not caring for others’ things, refusal to repent, etc., etc.

Would you believe that dear daughter never showed an ounce of contrition?


I wonder what a gentle answer would have accomplished?

Oh, Lord, give me the grace to remember to react gently next time. Sigh. Amen.

(Funny how these Proverbs are following a theme these days).

By the way, I found something interesting in Judges today. You recall from yesterday’s post (well, at least I recall) that the evil event in Gibeah paralleled a horrific happening in Sodom and Gomorrah. Well, God took care of those cities with raining sulfur and He took care of Gibeah with the Israelite army. But the results are strikingly similar:

[Abraham] looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. Genesis 19: 28  NIV

But when the column of smoke began to rise from [Gibeah], the Benjamites turned and saw the whole city going up in smoke. Judges 20: 40



Today’s Readings: Judges 20:1-21:25, Psalm 51:10-19, Proverbs 15:1-3, Luke 19:1-27. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).


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