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Struggle With Some Scriptures

I struggle with some Scripture. E.g. Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. I found this to be inconsistent with what I experience. What about you?

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 ---aka on 6/3/11
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Good point, Donna66. Elevate this verse from Proverbs to the level of prophecy, and it makes more sense.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
---Cluny on 7/23/11


donna66, I agree. But I had in mind too, Philippians 2, "Keeping this mind in you that was also in Christ Jesus," who became obedinet unto death, even death of a cross.
---kathr4453 on 6/12/11


A Soft answer assumes anger has confronted you therefore a gentle answer back has you in control of what you say and avoids argument which only leads to quarrels. Nobody wins in an argument and very little is resolved through harsh words only. Peace and harmony can be restored through honest dialogue keeping your cool giving space to reflect agree to disagree agreeably or just walk away as no one can argue with themselves. Of course this would take a willing heart to apply with Gods wisdom who said the
Christian walk was easy?
---Barbara_buckles on 6/12/11


next time you have a disagreement with somebody go to them very forcefully and prove your case. Two things will happen, you will win the argument but never talk to that person again. OR Lose the argument and never talk to that person again. Try it sometime it is a lose - lose situation everytime (sarcasm).
---Scott on 6/8/11


Kathr4453-- I don't think Jesus cared to "change" anything... He was submitted to the cross.
I think that by not answering (or giving soft answers), He was keeping the focus on them for a reason, not Himself. He was quite capable of giving a withering reply if He wanted to.

But what would have been gained, at that point, by trying to defend himself? Especially since He NEEDED no defense and went to the cross WILLINGLY. To be "on the defensive" would have played right into the hands of His accusers.

---Donna66 on 6/8/11




I know when Jesus was accused and went to teh cross, He gave soft answers too. However those soft answers did not change the outcome.

Probably true of many things in life. If someone hates you, as was Jesus HATED/ENVY, that hate and envy and murderous heart does not instantly change because we give that person a soft answer.
---kathr4453 on 6/6/11


I don't find the Proverbs verse inconsistent at all. When somebody is fired up, they will only get more fired up if you are loud and agressive as well. But if you back off, speak softer, it is more likely they will follow suite.
Peace!
---Ken_Rank on 6/6/11


//I have the feeling we're just not communicating well.//

donna66,

this is the nature of the beast. earlier this week i left out a parenthetical phrase of three words, that changed the meaning of what i was trying to say.

the only thing that we can do understand that this is a hard way to communicate and keep digging.
---aka on 6/5/11


Aka,if you will compare the OT to the NT it will help one understand what it means more clearly tracing thoughts/words with a reference Bible. By following the reference the OT leads to the NT and the NT right back to the OT. My reference not Bibles,NT verse relating to Proverbs 15. James 1:19 My dear brothers,take note of this, Everyone should be quick to listen,slow to speak,and slow to become angry,for mans anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires. This and soft answer all relates to living by love 1Corinthians 13:4-7,8 Love is patient,kind,doesn't boast,not proud,rude,selfseeking,or easily angered,keeps no record of wrongs.8 Love never fails--.
---Darlene_1 on 6/5/11


aka-- Well that's true too, I guess. I have the feeling we're just not communicating well.

I don't have much trouble accepting what God does either way. I have no choice about what God does. My more perplexing problems are deciding what approach He would have me take. As the 2 proverbs illustrate, there is sometimes more than one option.
---Donna66 on 6/4/11




A soft answer is a response that is obviously offered in humility. One that is apparent in it's yielding to the aggressor. A type of response that is all but impossible to the carnally minded, except of course when fear is present. However bullies feed on fear and tend to became even more aggressive toward the fearful.
When I was brought to recognize the futility of an argument, I found the truth of the verse to be conducive not only to my good, but also the good of those with whom I may disagree. Which empowered me to yield, without contention, without any sense or display of fear or intimidation, to at least allowing the point of view, or argument of another. Always In doing so the demeanor of an aggressor is almost instantly tempered.
---Josef on 6/5/11


Aka, Prov. 26 has a different application. The fool is describe in every verse. Most verses compare aspects of natural order that are violated with the behavior of a fool. Taken together, these verses teach the appropiated way to answer a fool ( an unbeliever who rejects Truth). Even the beginning of Chap. 27 is talking again about fools. Fools think they know the future or can affect its outcome, but the future rests with our Sovereign God (16:1,9, Ps. 37, James 4:13-16).
---Mark_V. on 6/5/11


donna66: //aka-- Sometimes a person must decide which course of action to take. They need to rely on God's guidance in making the decision. God doesn't always solve our problems for us.//

I did not say that God solves our problems for us. But, let me rephrase: Despite any action that we take (or do not take), Wisdom is knowing when to let God apply Prov 15 and when to let God apply Prov 26 and accepting the outcome.
---aka on 6/4/11


aka-- Sometimes a person must decide which course of action to take. They need to rely on God's guidance in making the decision. God doesn't always solve our problems for us.
---Donna66 on 6/4/11


I think a lot of the problem with the scripture seeming to be inconsistent may be because the attitude behind the soft words is sarcastic & insincere.Perhaps the person you spoke with heard this in your tone or manner toward them, therefore still felt angry. Just a suggestion of how things could cause the scripture to not work in a situation like that. Sometimes it's not words alone that causes anger. It can be looks & body language as well. You'll need the whole package for those "SOFT WORDS" to work.:-)
---Reba on 6/4/11


In a family situation or at work you should answer softly to those in charge or loved ones.

To a person you are in charge of and trying to discipline harsher words may be necessary.

Notice about the bridal part it gives a hint about being a different situation.

But the point about needing wisdom on when to apply is always true.
---Samuel on 6/4/11


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i agree, MarkV.

//Wisdom is knowing when to apply Prov 15 and when to apply Prov 26.//

Wisdom is knowing when to let God apply Prov 15 and when to let God apply Prov 26.
---aka on 6/4/11


Some things in the bible are viewed as inconsistent.But God's Word never fails and is always true. But I do know what you are saying.But we are to believe the scriptures. No matter what. If it does not make sense,right now. Don't give up so easily. Make sure you are really following the sciptures. This is why christians are judged so negatively,sometimes.The unsaved do not understand the Word of God, either. So they feel christians are being disobedient when scriptures in the bible, may not match a persons testimony. But we are to continue to be obedient to the Word of God.God will and not man, bless us for that obedience. Keep looking to Jesus. We have to grow into christians. Does not happen over night.
---Robyn on 6/4/11


Proverbs is a book of wisdom...but everything it says does not apply to every situation. That's why wisdom itself is not confined to simple statements.
Prov 15:1A a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger is true. But so is Proverbs 26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.. Either can be (depending on the situation) a godly response.

This is why it is rightly said that WISDOM is gained by experience and/or maturity.
(not by a thorough knowledge of Proverbs)
Wisdom is knowing when to apply Prov 15 and when to apply Prov 26.
---Donna66 on 6/4/11


//Good point, Bill_willa!

Maybe some of the more puzzling verses should be elevated from the mere indicative of fact to prophecy.// cluny

ironically, "something" struck me right when i hit the 'submit' button.

to which Bill_willa also alluded, if you turn the scripture to focus on God not man, the scripture might mean: A soft answer turns away wrath [of God], but a harsh word stirs up anger [in Him].

This is supported by verses 2-4.

thanks, all.
---aka on 6/4/11


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I see your point.
When you speak softly people think that you are weak and try to take advantage of you

next time try this one:
Proverbs 26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.
---francis on 6/4/11


it depends on the personality of the person you are speaking to.and how well you know one another. in general most people are defensive about being critized.many people suffer from self justification thinking.
---tom2 on 6/4/11


Good point, Bill_willa!

Maybe some of the more puzzling verses should be elevated from the mere indicative of fact to prophecy.

In the meantime, aka, don't worry about the passages you don't understand. Concentrate on the ones you do.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
---Cluny on 6/4/11


Aka, I believe the answer is given in the second part of the paragrath.
"The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness"
Similar to what Bill-willa said.
Sometimes the answer is right after as it is in many parables.
---Mark_V. on 6/4/11


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People can be rebellious, like they were, even with Jesus who is "gentle and lowly in heart" (in Matthew 11:29). And there are people who can use a "soft answer" as a method along with unkind treatment. It could be like how if a country clobbers another country and then says oh we want peace > the clobbered ones might not buy this. But if you are known for not getting into arguments and harsh words, then when you have a problem with someone, they can already know how you have always been gentle and humble and sensitive, showing that they can reason with you.

The "soft answer" could be a prophecy of how the death of Jesus on the cross was a soft answer turning away God's wrath from us . . . very effective! (c:
---Bill_willa6989 on 6/3/11


I don't think it is a problem with Scripture. It is just the people you are dealing with.
---Elder on 6/3/11


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