A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.…
I. THE GRACIOUS POWER OF "A SOFT ANSWER." It is not intended here to state a bare philosophical fact, the result of observation and experience. Here is a truth intimately connected with man's present and future peace. In our intercourse with men our object is liable to be misinterpreted, and our motive to be misconceived. There arise occasions when indignation seems to acquire the attribute of a duty, possibly of a religious duty. Beware of giving way to a hasty spirit. A little delay would have calmed your spirit; a little inquiry might have produced an explanation.
II. THE GRIEVOUS POWER OF AN ANGRY ANSWER. It is not a light matter to be warned that we bear about within us a fire, which needs only to be quickened and blown up by the breath of man's mouth to produce in its ravages upon ourselves and others the most cruel and disastrous issues. This is the end at which we must aim, and after which we must never cease to strive and pray until it has been attained, that the law of God may reign supreme in all our hearts, enlightening the understanding, inclining the will, subduing all unhallowed passions, purifying and sanctifying even lawful affections, and "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Forbearance is oftentimes a difficult and a painful duty, the incentive to retaliation quick and urgent. At such times we need to prove the power of prayer.
(Geo. Spence, D.C.L.)
Parallel VersesKJV: A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.