Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Soft Answer

My guest today is my dear friend, Joy. She and I met a number of years ago and have been kindred spirits since. Knowing Joy brings me joy. I know she will bless you too.
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
~ Proverbs 15:1 ESV
Someone I love walked away from me, answering my question softly, but harshly. The one-sided conversation continued for awhile in the other room. I couldn’t hear all that was being said, but the tone of the muttered words answer was angry, the sound more a snarl than a whisper.

I sat quietly not knowing what to say – if anything. I prefer to avoid conflict and am pretty good at it.

The muttering continued. I stayed put, but this thing started to happen in my heart. It was like every uttered syllable in the other room was stirring up anger in the same way a stick poked into a bonfire will do. Sparks floated up from the center of my being.

A sarcastic thought blew across my mind: so much for soft answers!

My intentional misuse of God’s Word did not go unnoticed in my conscience. I was urged to handle two things in my own spirit:

·        My angry, but silent response was wrong. That wrongness led me to the rightness of confession of my own sin to the Forgiver of all sin. He was as always, faithful and just. (1 John 1:9)

·        The word soft in the above verse does not mean quiet as in under your breath – I’ve known for a long that it means soft as in gentle. Or tender. See Strong’s.

When I was done silently, but boldly going to the throne, (Hebrews 4: 16) where I received mercy and grace, I forgave as I had just been forgiven (Colossians 3:13) I noticed the voice in the other room had stilled. The verbal storm had passed, and the stirring of embers was over.
I walked into the other room and was asked, “What do you want?”

“A cup of coffee,” I said with a smile that came from that forgiven and forgiving place in my heart.

I was immediately handed a cup full of my favorite brew – with a tender smile. No sparks. No anger. No snarls. Just love.

This sweet moment would not have happened in the Holy Spirit hadn’t quickly made me uncomfortable with my response. Now, if only I can remember this next time someone stirs my embers.

Has anyone stirred your embers lately?

Joy is the author of several published books including Under His Wings - a devotional for those who love God and watch birds. She lives with her husband Jon and their two dogs on thirty-five acres of field and woods. When she's not writing, reading, or spending time with the people she loves, she enjoys photography as a hobby. 

Joy's books can be found on Amazon
Photo Credits:
Bonfire: © irene1601 -
Cup of coffee © stefanolunardi -

Enjoy one of Joy's books:


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this tid bit! This is one subject that has always been difficult for me. A soft answer; hmmmm
    I've learned through the years that we need to guard the portals of our mouth and bring that smallest member, the tongue under subjection to the working of the Holy Spirit. I have not been perfect in doing this, because at times my natural earthly mind wants to scream out 'hey, who do you think you are and who do you think you're talking to right now'. Being that we are the workmanship of the Lord, I must come to the realization that He is still working the kinks out of me, but He may also be working on someone else! While He's working on the 'someone else', it's none of my business! :)

  2. Western, you are so right. We are works in progress for sure. For some, it takes a bit more to stir their embers. For others, we are like horses at the gate :) But, in everything, He is making us more like His Son who knew just when to speak and when to be silent.

  3. It is hard, Western! And it is a choice. The older I get, the more I realize God gives me the time to decide if I'm going to answer softly or let it rip. It can go either way.I only hope next time I remember the time shared in this post.

  4. Thankfully, His mercies are new every morning!!
    Thanks for sharing your heart, Joy.

  5. How amazing, it continues to be to me, that I come across the needed encouragement or correction that is needed in my life at just the opportune time!!
    Your words of wisdom shared here today just came to me as encouragement/correction after a heated argument that left both involved hurt and disillusioned in the relationship. The terribly sad truth is that those words said in anger can linger a very long time.
    Truly I see the wisdom of God's loving advice here, once again! Oh, how grateful I am for the reminder that God's loving kindness and mercies are new every morning/moment. So must I confess and begin this moment anew.
    Thank you, Joy, for all that you share! I have been in the background reading your excerpts for some time. It is a pleasure to know you are reaching so many others with your Godly wisdom!! Your wise counsel (with skin on) is so needed in this world!

    1. What a jouney we are on, Sandie! Thank you for your transparent response I'm always surprised by how fast I react ehen I really want yo respond.

  6. Sandie, thanks for sharing your encouraging words! God is so good to us, isn't He.
    So glad you heard He soft whisper tonight.
    Blessings, my friend!


Thank you for joining the conversation. Your comment will appear once I moderate. This helps to combat spam messages. Thanks for your understanding.
If you have trouble posting a comment, please contact me.