“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prov 15: 1)

Does this verse mean I should lie, rather than tell the truth, when the truthful “answer” might disagree with my interlocutor? No, that’s not what Holy Wisdom tells us in this passage. He is talking, rather, of “how” we speak, rather than of “what” we say. As the very-next verse of Proverbs says, “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” (Prov 15: 2) So if we’re to be “wise” with His Wisdom, our “tongue” is to “use knowledge rightly,” rather than “pour forth foolishness.

This is very hard, as most of us will know. But with God, all things are possible! So let me be reminded today, insofar as I have any “knowledge,” the Source of which is God, to use it “rightly,” seasoning it with the “salt” of His grace, in a “soft answer,” if indeed I am called to “answer” anyone who is tempting me to “pour forth” foolishness. “Lord and Master of my life, grant me not the spirit of idleness, despondency, love of power, and idle talk!”

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