Scripture Reflections @ CEC by Karen Callis (6/18/20)
“God wrote a love letter to imperfect people so we might embrace His perfect, lavish love.” Anonymous
Scripture & Devotion: Scriptural focus: Proverbs 15, focused on verse 1
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
One of my favorite movies is Toy Story. In the first movie, Buzz Lightyear is missing and the toys are mounting the search party to go find him. Mrs. Potato Head is helping Mr. Potato Head pack and she says: I’m packing you an extra pair of shoes, and your angry eyes, just in case.”
Proverbs 15:1 starts off with “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” I have known this verse for a long time, but it seems especially applicable in these days. In this digital age, it’s so easy to become what is sometimes called a “keyboard warrior”, angrily responding to defend whatever we might disagree with. It’s as if people have all packed their angry eyes, and we have to search long and hard to find the gentle answers.
Gentleness … it is a fruit of God’s spirit in us, but it’s kind of like a middle child. Just part of a long list – not often studied. We know we are called to love, we struggle to find joy in hard times, we want to be faithful and exhibit self-control. We long for peace and are afraid to pray for patience because we know that God will make sure to give us chances to practice it. We think about the kindness and goodness of God, but we just don’t often study about gentleness. (Or maybe that’s just me.)
Ephesians 4:2 – Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Matthew 11:29 – Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Proverbs 25:15 – Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
Paul writes to both Timothy and Titus, encouraging them to be gentle toward everyone.
There is incredible strength in gentleness. A gentle answer … answer implies conversation. A give and take. A relationship and interaction between two people, both who bear the image of God their creator. If we could but remember that as we move through our days.
Six words. A gentle answer turns away wrath. What if these six words help people take off their angry eyes, and put on eyes of compassion, eyes that see through pain, heartache, despair? What would our families, our neighborhoods, our communities, our world be like if we tried the gentle approach, allowing the Spirit to bring out His fruit, His gentleness in us?
It sounds so peaceful. May God develop His gentleness in me to bring gentle answers that turn away wrath, and point people to the grace and compassion of Jesus. May I make sure to leave my angry eyes at home.
Fill us with Your gentleness, Your kindness. Continue to develop in us the fruit of Your spirit that we might be filled to overflowing with all that You have for us.