What better example could I give of this verse in Proverbs 15 than that of my mother? She does a wonderful job exerting her gentle power to squelch discord.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1 NIV).
My three siblings, their spouses, and I spent three days with my parents at a beach house near Newport last week. In my family this means the days are filled with our typical bantering and playful sarcasm. Mom doesn’t tease, not like the rest of us anyway. And when we get stirred up, she balances us with her gentle words.
We have the power to crush someone, and the power to bring life with our words. This theme seems to occur frequently in the book of Proverbs.
“The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but the perverse tongue crushes the spirit” (verse 4).
Here’s one more. This verse says good news makes me healthy. Maybe that’s why I don’t watch TV much.
“Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones” (verse 30).
By Kathy Sheldon Davis