Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
One of my favorite movie series right now is the Avenger’s series. If you are familiar with them and have seen them you know that the Hulk is a menacing character. He is certainly one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of the reasons is that he is so powerful is that he gets stronger and much more powerful the angrier he gets. As the battles goes on he gets much more angry and powerful.
The battle eventually stops, however, and the Avengers team always realizes that they need the Hulk to be less Hulk and turn back to Bruce Banner. The way they do this is they have one of the female characters speak softly to him and calm him down. Her gentle answers turn away the wrath building deep within him. She simply says to him “The Suns getting real low big bella”.
In many ways, we too are like the Hulk.
Our experiences with rage build within is daily, weekly, and yearly. We become deposits of harsh words and harsh deeds-often making us angrier and angrier.
Have you noticed that “certain” things make you angry now that never did before?
We can break that cycle.
We, as Christians can respond however we choose. We can choose to respond with anger, harsh words, frustration or we can respond with love, patience, and kindness.
It’s easy to lash back at people. An eye for an eye. You say something mean and I am going to say something meaner. It’s human to want to one up another person.
It’s divine however to want to break the cycle of anger and be kind. That is so hard when people are picking at you and of course when people are saying hurtful things about you or people you care about.
Scripture, including all the gospels, constantly remind us that kindness always defeats festering anger. Love always defeats hate.
It is not always easy but then again being Christian isn’t supposed to be easy. We see the challenges before the early disciples and early Christians-far from easy and yet they met their challenges head on with gentleness, firm resolve, and kindness.
I am not sure if you have a difficult coworker or boss, a challenging family member or friend, or a neighbor that drives you bonkers but let these words from scripture inspire you to be better than the challenge from those people. Choose gentle answers over angry knee jerk responses. That is kingdom building.
May it be so,
Rev Lou Ward
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