A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. Prov. 15:1-2
Lord Jesus, as with all the Scriptures, this passage makes us immediately think of you. No one is more filled with kindness and gentle answers than you. Your heart and words are always grace-full, healing, and life-giving. Even your rebukes give us hope and encouragement; for your intent is to free us, not shame us.
When we rush into your presence with demands dressed up like questions, and clenched fists rather than raised hands, you always offer us your non-anxious, kind presence. You’re not only gracious with “bruised reeds and smoldering wicks,” you’re altogether merciful when, like Jonah, we’re pouty and self-absorbed. Thank you, Lord.
You’re firm with us but never harsh, engaged but never exasperated, unyielding but never overbearing. When we ignore your wooing’s and warnings, we reveal the depth of our foolishness. In our most gospel-sane moments, we offer you humility, submission, and adoration.
Jesus, as you spoke this world into existence and raised us from spiritual death, so speak beauty, gentleness, and compassion deep into our souls. Liberate us for your glory, and our tongues for your praise. Forgive us for responding to hurtful words with our own biting comebacks. Forgive us for using our words to manipulate others or fix loved ones, gossiping and grand-standing, excuse making and fight winning, bad humor and humorless quips.
As the tongue has the power of life and death, please use our words today to build up and encourage, heal and help others. And grant us quick repentances when we choose to do otherwise. Thank you for your patience with us, Jesus. So very Amen we pray, in your ever-so-glorious name.