“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”Proverbs 15:1
The cycle continues… My sons often come to me with disagreements of one form or another. Usually one complains that the other said (or did) something unkind or hurtful to the other. When I probe further and ask why the perpetrator acted in such a way, said perp always claims self-defense. He was only responding in kind to an earlier infraction that the other brother had said or done. When I turn to that brother and inquire, he, of course, was merely retaliating for what his brother had done prior. And so it goes. The cycle continues….
I wish that this problem only applied to children. Unfortunately, I see it all too often among adults who disagree. One lashes out, the other lashes out in response. One speaks a harsh word, the retort is even more harsh in reply. And so it goes. The cycle continues….
What would happen if we regularly applied the wisdom of Proverbs 15:1 to these situations? If instead of matching fire with fire, we met fire with water? Could we curtail the wrath and resentment, and instead find ways to foster forgiveness?