Why Add Fuel to the “Fire”?
One of my favorite proverbs is in our reading for today. Let’s read Proverbs 15:1-2
A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
I think we’ve all heard the expression, “adding fuel to the fire”. I guess the expression comes from the fact that a fire will eventually go out if it has nothing to burn and/or no oxygen to consume as it burns. When we add fuel to the fire it flares up and can get out of control.
So it is with words and anger. When you are talking with someone who is angry, it is only natural to raise your voice to match his/her voice. It is only natural to allow your emotions to rise to the level of the one who is angry. That’s why we need God’s “supernatural” ability to do what God’s word says. When we speak or reply in a soft way, we have a way of putting out the fire, or at least keeping it from getting further out of control. A soft answer really does turn away wrath.
No, your soft answer might not keep someone from getting angry with you but it will more than likely not make the situation worse…and in many cases it will help to reduce the situation or turn away the wrath.