A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Few writers, ancient or modern, say so much about words as Solomon. "Words," says Richter, "are often everywhere as the minute hands of the soul, more important than even the hour hands of action."
I. THE PACIFYING AND IRRITATING POWER OF WORDS.
1. The pacifying power of words. "A soft answer turneth away wrath." Several things are implied in this short passage.
(1) The existence of anger against you.
(2) The importance of turning away this anger.
(3) There is an effective method of turning away this wrath.That is a "soft answer." A response free from excitement and resentment, uttered in the low tone of magnanimous forbearance.
2. The irritating power of words. "Grievous words stir up anger."
II. THE RIGHT AND THE WRONG USE OF WORDS.
1. The right use of words. "The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright."
2. The wrong use of words. The fool's heart is full of folly, and folly flows from his lips. Foolish words are either words without meaning, empty jargon, or words of bad meaning, the vehicles of filth, insubordination, and blasphemy.
(D. Thomas, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.