What the NIV version of this verse 'actually' says in Proverbs 15:1 is: "A gentle answer turns away wrath..." but the title of this post is what came to mind after the following experience the other night...
My husband was home from work and we were about to sit down to eat supper together. I had felt fine pretty much all day as I tried to catch up on a few things, but all of a sudden I just felt tired & grumpy... Steve ended up putting Sarah down for a nap because she was practically falling asleep as she was on the potty (lol) but threw quite a fit when he tried to lay her down - so maybe just hearing her making a fuss caused me to spiral into a rut? I still think it's funny how I wasn't even dealing with this directly, but was still getting upset about it! Anyways...
He came downstairs and I had the food and the table ready, but even "I" was aware of my bad attitude. I was just stomping around and complaining about random inconveniences and certainly did NOT have a smile on my face.
When I finally sat down after retrieving several things that I had forgotten to bring to the table, I tried to just stare at my food after Steve prayed... but I knew he was looking at me...
Feeling slightly convicted, I was so annoyed that he was 'questioning' my attitude by silently judging me over there - not even pretending to ignore my sudden, random foul mood. I was just WAITING for him to ask if I was "ok", which made me even madder (I know this all sounds SO ridiculous, but this is really how my thoughts were rolling!!) when finally I just couldn't take it any more..I looked up at him and just snapped, "WHY are you STARING at me?!" ...and without missing a beat he just smiled and said,
"Because you're beautiful." (*insert charming, heart-melting smile here*)
Well... that was unexpected! He actually threw me so off-guard that I actually cracked a huge smile and then just burst out laughing!!! I couldn't help it! I was SO mad that he made me happy in the middle of my 'woe is me' rut, but I couldn't hold it in! He completely disarmed me with his kindness - a kindness I did NOT deserve.... (and yes, we ended up enjoying the rest of our evening withOUT my sour attitude... and sweeter yet, he didn't even ask what my deal was earlier... which was good because I didn't even know!).
As I thought about this quick exchange over supper, 'a kind word turns away wrath' came to mind, but the closest verse I could find to that was in Proverbs 15:1 which says 'a gentle answer turns away wrath...' - which basically says the same thing, so I was good with that : )
I just felt that I had to share this with the hopes that it would challenge us to respond to others with love, even if they're spewing hatred or being full of themselves... as well as to be aware that, just in case they're anything like me, they are probably fully aware that they're being ridiculous and are just hoping you'll stoop to their level to validate their crummy attitude. The world doesn't need anymore negativity. Try to be a light that shines God's goodness wherever you go, especially in the privacy of your own home.
This, I hope, is a good reminder for us to do as Ken Davis always says:
"LIGHTEN UP - AND LIVE!!" : )
"Lord remind us today to do our best to respond with love, with kindness. Your word says that a city on a hill cannot be hidden - that we are to let 'our light' so shine before men that they would SEE our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven! How can we point others to You when we're going through life grumbling and complaining?! Help us to practice unconditional kindness to our spouse, our children, our parents, our siblings, the crazy drivers, the person in the fast-food window we never look in the eye... ALL Your children - so that they may find a glimpse of You, in us. In Your name God, amen."
(For ideas on how to practice 'unconditional kindness' visit http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Kind)