1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge pleasant, But the mouth of fool’s spouts foolishness.3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Watching the evil and the good. 4 A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit.
In a world where we come from different personalities, cultures, background, and above all, different stage of walk with the Lord, when folks meet in church or outside and there is a difference of opinions or even worse frustration when things are done in different ways, we need to learn especially the gems from proverbs. Prov 15: 1 says a gentle answer turns away wrath. That’s a beautiful way of communication, whether we agree with the other party or not. So that should be our basis of communication. A gentle answer. However, gentle answer can be frustrated and exasperated when answers are not forthcoming after a prolonged period. That’s when the other dynamic needs to come in, and that’s clear communication. Poor communication causes misunderstanding, and murmuring at the back. Therefore communication clearly with good faith is really important. Sometimes, we can leave the issue and not deal with it, it will foster fermenting morally, spiritually. Therefore its best to deal with it and take actions. Either way, counselling approach in a pastoral way will be best.
You see v1 says a harsh word stirs up anger. That’s when people call it politically correct speech. I disagree here. I call it speaking forth truth in love. When we speak the truth in love, even though it may hurt or cause disagreement, at least we speak the truth not to harm, but to restore. One cannot not be restored, without repentance of the wrongs. Repentance must be part of the conversation in a holistic spirit of godly love for one another. But the very important words behind is “in love”. It’s not just what we say, but rather how we say it.
The tongue of the wise makes knowledge pleasant
The tongue of the wise makes knowledge pleasant. People love a pleasant conversation. No one likes a harsh conversation. But notice here, the wise tongue or speech makes knowledge pleasant. Sometimes we can share the right knowledge, but it’s not pleasant. But a wise tongue communicates it, and makes it pleasant, and when that happens, the recipient will be at ease to receive with good spirit. Of course, we need humility on both sides to receive what’s good and right. It’s the righteousness of the Lord we are pursuing in brotherly love. Wow! Wisdom makes it pleasant.
NASB says: The tongue of the wise makes knowledge pleasant, ESV says: The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,NIV says: The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, KJV says: The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright:
What’s to be communicated is knowledge, counseling, wisdom. That needs to be communicated. That’s exactly the truth on how you say it.
A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit.
Finally a soothing tongue is a tree of life. In other words, a non-soothing or brash or sharp tongue can be a tree of death. It can destroy relationship, or bring forth life, energize and brings healing. We need healings in this broken world.
ESV 4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, NIV 4 The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
Again it goes back to a soothing tongue. Soothing tongue is not a compromising tongue. It’s not just pleasing people tongue. It’s a tongue that comes with the intent of life to all parties concerned. With no ill intent. Just wants to bring healing and restoration. Its sometimes not easy to accomplish as the bible is also full of church discipline to rectify the wrongs. Forgiveness comes with a repentance required to go with it. Without forgiveness, there is no restoration. One cannot go on a soothing tongue or gentle tongue, without the intention for healing and restoration.
Don’t ever use a perverse tongue which crushes a spirit. Christians should never slander others, let along brothers and sisters in Christ in the family of Christ. Such spirit must be disciplined, corrected for the good of the soul of the offenders and bring healing to the offended. Don’t let any spirits in church be crushed, and simmer.
Finally the Lord watches over us all
3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Watching the evil and the good.
Above all, we must know be conscious that the Lord watches over us all. Our hearts intent, motives, are all weighed before His sight. He knows everything that we do, or don’t do. God rewards, reprimands, disciplines, corrects us with all power and authority for our good. No one can hide from God.
This is a very beautiful exhortation:
2 Timothy 3:16–17 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.
All scripture is inspired by God and beneficial to teach us, to rebuke us, to correct yes! For what purpose? For the purpose of training us in righteousness.
Training? Training in what? In righteousness of God. This is tremendously important. Again, we are shooting for the righteous of God, not man’s standard. What’s the end goal?
So that man or woman may be fully capable, equipped for every good work. Church will never have a revival, without us being capable, being equipped for every good work.
Teaching is not enough; character trimming, shaping must go with it as a result of the scripture. Then we are ready for every good work.
Amen! Let the Spirit of God come!