A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Gentle words defuse explosive situations; harsh words light the fuse.
Caustic words inflict wounds that heal slowly, if ever. Eric Idle said it well: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will make me go in a corner and cry by myself for hours.”
Here is a trio of verses that merit thought, prayer, and practice.
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips (Ps. 141:3).
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up … (Eph. 4:29).
Always be willing to listen and slow to speak (Jas. 1:19 NCV).
Before speaking ask yourself if
it will improve on the silence.