100 Verses

52. Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath. —Proverbs 15:1


The book of Proverbs is packed with verses about our tempers and our tongues. If you need some help with anger management or mouth control, read through Proverbs with a red pencil, circle every verse you find on these topics, then type them on your computer or write them on a page in your notebook. Read over your list, find the best verse for you, and memorize it. After you have memorized it, learn the second best verse for you; and so on until the power of God’s Word melts away the hardened habits of tongue and temper.

You might want to start with Proverbs 15:1. This verse applies particularly to the tone of our voices. It talks about a gentle answer or a harsh word. The adjectives gentle and harsh have more to do with the way we speak than what we actually say. Many times we speak the right words with the wrong attitude, making a good situation bad or a bad situation worse. Other verses in Proverbs govern the contents of what we say, but Proverbs 15:1 is devoted to the intonation, inflection, volume, pitch, and timbre of our voices. It includes the expression on our face and the body language behind our words.

Want to be wise, mature, less stressed, and less stressful to others? Become a Proverbs 15:1 person.

Professor Robert Webber relays a childhood memory of living near a cantankerous farmer. One day Robert strayed over the property line and picked a bucket of blackberries on the neighbor’s land. The man burst out the front door, waving his fists and shouting threats. Robert ran home and told his dad what had happened, and the two marched over to the neighbor’s house. Robert thought his dad would tell the old farmer a thing or two. But when the man came to the door, Mr. Webber said, “Mr. Farmer, I’m sorry my son was on your property. Here, I want you to have these blackberries.”

The man was disarmed. “Hey,” he said, “I’m sorry I yelled at the boy…. I don’t even like blackberries. You keep them. And you can pick all the berries you want.”

Walking back home, Mr. Webber looked down at his son and said, “The Scripture says, ‘A soft answer turns away wrath.’ Remember that, Robert.”

Years later Robert Webber wrote, “I’ve not always lived up to that Scripture, or to the example of my father, but I’ve never forgotten those words or my dad’s action that gave those words meaning.”

Grievous words stir up anger as certainly as an effect follows its cause…. For the moment they seem to be smart and spirited, betraying a dignified temper and a haughty courage, but in reality, they are nothing more than proofs of littleness, spitefulness, chagrin, or other emotion lying on the same degraded line. —Joseph Parker

100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.

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