A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Give soft answers from a soft heart. Not hard answers. We give hard answers when we swell our chests and claim to have THE answer. Hard answers power one person above the others and shut the others down. Because the person with hard answers shuts everyone down, he thinks he must be right. We give soft answers when we soften our hearts and share our imperfect ideas, leaving space for everyone else to share their ideas.
People who give hard answers either already are or will become angry in spirit. They’re obsessed with getting their way. They want to be seen as top dog. They don’t want to be pushed around. While other people may back down today, they inwardly accumulate anger that will explode later, probably at the least convenient time.
Consider Tony Dungy, head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and author of Quiet Strength, who never raised his voice against his players. Yet he led them to win the Super Bowl.
Consider Moses, the meekest man who ever lived, who led an entire nation from slavery, through forty years in the wilderness, and to the threshold of the Promised Land*.
Consider Jesus, meek and lowly in heart, the Savior of the world.
These men didn’t push their way to the top, yet God’s power and authority leveraged through them when they allowed him to crucify their egos and get their own power out of the way.
* Because Moses lost his meekness one time, God forbid him from entering the Promised Land.