Today’s Scripture: Proverbs 15:1

In addition to being wise, King Solomon was full of creativity! In fact, some of the books of our Bible are attributed to him, including Ecclesiastes and Proverbs, as well as some of the Psalms. For the remainder of the week, we will look at some of Solomon’s most poignant teachings in these books in order to learn more of his heart.

The books of Proverbs is a collection of pithy sayings, intended to help the reader seek wisdom and avoid folly. As I’ve been reading through this book, I’ve found that it has much to say to us during this time.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself running short on patience during this stay-at-home time. Many of us are living in close quarters, perhaps spending more time with our loved ones than we are used to. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve found myself more irritable and less gracious with others than I would like to be! Even little things that I usually find funny or cute seem to be grating on my nerves. As I’ve spoken with many of you, I’ve heard similar sentiments (and I’m so glad to know I’m not alone!). Today’s scripture is a great reminder to all of us that while we cannot always control when we feel irritable, we can control how we speak to others:

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh words stirs up anger.”

We can say the same thing, but in different ways and in different tones, and our loved ones will hear them completely differently. When we choose to be gentle and compassionate, our relationships can flourish, but when we are judgmental or rude, the pain we cause others can stick around for a long time and lead to more disagreements. This is so important, especially now, when we are spending so much time together.

My goal for the next three days is to be more mindful of the tone of my speech – am I being loving or accusatory? Am I building up or tearing down? Am I offering grace or judgment? I invite you to join me in this practice of paying attention. If you need extra reminders, consider writing this proverb on a sticky note and putting it on your refrigerator, or even setting a reminder in your phone calendar that will pop up every few hours. Let’s all seek to be gentle, patient, and slow-to-anger, that we might draw close to one another!