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Proverb 15: 1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.

The way we say things can be as significant as what we say. This lesson is important in the homestead as well as the workplace. How we speak to our children and spouses will often be the message they hear. One can start a fight just in the way they speak, but let’s take a closer look at that.

The proverb says a gentle answer turns away wrath. That means the words we choose are important. It specifically does not suggest we choose scathing words and couch them in a chuckle or a smooth voice. That person is not a wise person being gentle. He is a weasel, a slick salesman who thinks so little of those around him that he believes he can fool them with his vocal gyrations. People see through that and are offended and angered. That can stir up a fight as much as a nasty tone. A wise person knows how to convey, even a difficult message, in a polite way. They choose words that are not harsh and they show respect for others even in correction.

Wise people are able to communicate wisdom in the face of adversity whereas fools spout so much foolishness in their pretense of being wise. They stir up strife where the wise person finds a way to soften a response and to defuse a situation. They are able to tell people the hard truth but in a way that causes the recipient to be grateful even when the truth stings a bit.

Truth is a value, but it must be delivered in a way that another can receive it. Don’t use truth to batter another but rather to free them. Show kindness and gentleness in your speech and in your choice of words.

Proverb 15

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