”A soft answer turns away anger but harsh words stir it up” (Proverbs. 15:1)
I really wanted to give him a piece of my mind! Nearly every time I encountered this fellow at work it was like rubbing up against sandpaper!! I came away feeling agitated and annoyed…it could rob me of a good bit of my peace of mind for the day if I let it.
I realized that the reaction I let this person evoke in me actually gave him power over a portion of my day as I allowed agitation to take control in my spirit. I decided to consciously choose God’s way in my reaction and see what the difference would be.
Learning to walk in God’s ways, by the power of the Holy Spirit, opened my eyes to a new kind of response. I read this verse from God’s instruction book, The Bible, “A soft answer turns away anger but harsh words stir it up” (Prov. 15:1). So I tried it. When I knew I would be encountering this particular gentleman, I prayed a quick prayer and asked God to fill me afresh with His Spirit and to give me a gentle response rather than the quick retort that was usually on my tongue. His Spirit gave me a soft answer that did not bite at his sarcastic remarks.
I returned to my office realizing afresh the truth and the power of God’s Word…responding God’s way defused the anger that would usually stir up within me. What freedom! That little experiment set me on a track of understanding that the Holy Spirit can indeed walk with me in the nitty - gritty of life. He is there for the little trials of life as well as the big stuff.
It is only His power that can help us change our responses to irritations that sneak in and rob us of our joy in the daily course of life. It is a daily choice… an hourly choice…and even a moment by moment choice to choose the help of the Holy Spirit. Choosing God’s way to respond in God’s power brings a freedom to our spirit that is unequalled by any momentary satisfaction of a well - aimed retort.
Wherever harsh words are the norm in your life, invite the Spirit of God to help you respond in His power and watch the freedom that comes into your own soul. Every day in every situation of irritation you have the opportunity to “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). Making the choice is your part. Imparting power and strength is His part! Change your irritation to an invitation and watch God work!