Then consider three simple suggestions wise old Solomon makes from Proverbs 15:1.
1. Speak Gently
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
The sure way to ignite an already explosive situation is to respond to an angry person in like manner. The formula for assuaging anger is to answer in tenderness.
2. Speak Wisely
“The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” (Proverbs 15:2)
The wise person speaks with intelligence and skill to the issue at hand, while the fool emits the first thought that enters his head.
3. Speak Healingly
“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)
Solomon reminds us that the power of life and death lie with the tongue. By our kind words we can bring healing and life. Or by our destructive words we can destroy. (See Proverbs 18:21)
As we struggle with our speech it may help to keep in mind two stark realities:
(1) Our speech simply mirrors the condition of our heart: “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” (Matthew 12:34b)
(2) God ultimately will judge us by the quality of our words: “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will shall be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37)