Today’s Truth

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flar.

Proverbs 15:1

Friend to Friend

It had been one of “those” mornings and I was behind schedule in preparing to teach the women’s Tuesday morning Bible study at our church. I am fairly certain I did not exude peace and joy as I rushed around – as my Mama would say – like a chicken with its head cut off. The auditorium was set up correctly. The sound man had my power point ready to go and was waiting to do a sound check. The coffee pot was plugged in and doing its thing. Smiling ladies gathered to greet each other as they arrived. I paused and breathed a sigh of relief. It looked like everything was ready – everything except my heart.

I knew I needed to spend some time alone with God before standing to teach His Word, so I found a quiet room where I could escape for a few minutes of solitude. As I began to pray, the door flew open, crashing against the wall behind it as the husband of one of our group leaders burst into the room. I could tell by the look on his face that he was not happy and that whatever was wrong was definitely my fault. In a very loud and very angry voice, the man began to explain the problem, ending his tirade with the question, “And just what are you going to do about it?”

Sidebar: Guess what lesson I was teaching that particular morning. Remember, God definitely has a sense of humor. The lesson title was “How to Tame Your Tongue.”

I knew what I wanted to say to the man. I also knew God didn’t want me to say it. In a rare moment of wisdom, I faced my accuser with a smile and whispered, “I’ll tell you exactly what I am going to do. I am going to do whatever it takes to make you happy.”

I was completely unprepared for the man’s reaction. His mouth fell open, his eyes widened in surprise – no, make that shock – and he stumbled backwards as if I had hit him. The silence was deafening. We stared at each other for what seemed like an hour before he finally whispered, “Thank you!” Without another word, the man turned and literally ran out of the room. The most amazing part of this story is that from that day on, he became one of my strongest encouragers.

The Bible works, girlfriend! When God says that a gentle answer “deflects” anger, He really means it. The word “deflect” means “to change course” or “to force the alteration of plans.” When anger is met with love, it is forced to change its destructive course.

The plans of the enemy are altered when they are forced to comply with God’s truth. A sweet response yanks the fuse right out of an emotional time bomb that is set and ready to explode. We need to choose our responses instead of allowing our reactions to dictate the words we speak.

Words are powerful. Words can destroy or build. We need to make the choice today – to respond in the right way to those angry words that are surely headed our way tomorrow.

Let’s Pray

Father, I want to please You and encourage others with the words I speak. Clean my heart, God. Transform my mind and fill my mouth with words that honor and please You.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Examine the words you have spoken today in light of the following verses:

Psalm 141:3 “LORD, help me control my tongue; help me be careful about what I say.”

Psalm 19:14. ”May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to You, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”

How did you do? I encourage you to memorize these two verses. Ask God to let each verse take root in your heart and work its way out in the words you speak.

More from the Girlfriends

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11 Responses to “The Power of a Gentle Answer”

  1. Karen Ingle says:

    In today’s post, you have the 2nd verse listing as Psalm 20:14. It is Psalm 19:14.

  2. Deborah Shea says:

    Good Morning Mary
    In reading your message The Power of a Gentle Answer,I was going in my bible to highlight the to verses to memorize and discovered the is no verse 14 in Psalm 20 this Psalm has only 9 verses..

  3. julia says:

    thank you for this! i so need to keep these two verses in mind. esp when it comes to my hubby and i. whenever we ge into a argument (which is rare, but when we do look out esp if it is on a certain subject…..). need to just bite my tongue and to not try to come back with something rude or ignorant. just ignore it or just try to be slow to speak. and think of something from the holy spirit nudging.

  4. Abby says:

    I needed to read this too as I think back on a conversation I had with my husband last night. I was nagging. I could have expressed myself so much better. Thank you for your devotions.

  5. Ginger says:

    Thank you so much for this. I forwarded this to all three of my children. Their Dad, my husband, has always responded to any situation with anger and yelling. This is exactly how we need to respond to him, instead of joining in the fight, to be kind and loving and understanding. Let God be in control of our thoughts and words and I pray that God will show my husband to respond in like to us. What a blessing this devotional was for me this morning.

  6. Karen says:

    Thank you for your comments today. I was just reading in Romans 7 . How we do and say things that we do not want to or being silent when I should speak up. Not that I on purpose sin……as Paul says in that chapter. Yes, yesterday I remember some things in both areas and I was reminded of something I did in the past. That was not appropriate……. I am so grateful that God is not finished with us/me yet. That there is grace and forgiveness (as many as the drops in the ocean…as the song goes) because of Jesus and what He did on the cross for us;for me. I also remember hearing someone say once that in the verse 12 of Hebrews 8 it says God remembers our sin no more. He does not forget but remembers it no more; when we ask forgiveness. I Praise Jesus for He is soo good and every day – every nano second I need Him because I cannot do this life without Him. And that He is Faithful: Lamentations 3:23-24 ….Just to know Him a little bit better and love Him a bit more each day.

  7. Rebecca Jones says:

    The hardest thing to do sometimes, I think only God can tame it.

  8. Barbara Hill says:

    Hello I filled out a comment requesting to join your community. I checked back and in red letters it said waiting for approval. How do I find out if I was accepted.

  9. NLH says:

    Great lesson and message.

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