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- Let the Mud Dry –

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Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath”
Proverbs 15:18, “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel”

Anger is a very strong, potentially destructive emotion. For example when you are personally offended and your feelings are hurt, it’s always best to check that immediate reaction of wanting to “tell someone off.” Confrontation to resolve a difference may be necessary, but using restraint, allowing time to cool off, is always wise.

The story is told of a young man who had been insulted by an acquaintance and was very indignant. “I’m going at once to demand an apology,” he insisted. “My dear boy,” cautioned a wise, old man, “take a word of advice from one who loves peace. An insult is like mud; it will brush off much better when it dries. Wait tell you and he are both cool and the thing will be easily solved. If you go now, it will only be to quarrel.” The young man heeded that counsel, and the next day the person who had insulted him came to ask for his forgiveness.

Not all problems have such a happy ending; however, the possibilities are greatly increased when we are “slow to wrath.” When aroused to anger by an untrue charge or a cutting remark, count to 10, to 20, or to 100 if necessary. Time and God are on your side. Remember, mud always brushes off better when it is dry.

Further reflection:

Angry outbursts are so much a part of our lives that we almost expect them. Hateful words are common on television and radio shows. Students and teachers get into heated arguments. People who don’t even know each other trade insults in public places. Athletes and fans shout in irate tones at sporting events.

My beloved, we live in an age of rage. However, we can help solve the problem, one person at a time. When we’re on the receiving end of someone’s wrath, we can return a soft answer as stated in Proverbs 15:1. A calm reasoned approach can stop anger in its tracks.

Jesus Christ stayed calm in the face of hateful accusations at His trail (Luke 23:1-12), and we should follow His example by staying calm in an age of rage.

Help me guard my lips, O Savior,
Keep me sweet when I am tried;
Answers soft to others giving,
Meekly swallowing my pride. - Bosch

He who conquers his anger conquers a strong enemy.

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