His power working through us.
1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger. (NIV)
Often in life, the issues are so extreme that we feel we are helpless, but God is never helpless, and He has placed Himself in us in the form of The Holy Spirit. The God whose words moved the cosmos to form planets, galaxies, and our earthly home out of dark nothingness is the same God within us with that same power. Scripture teaches us that faith can move mountains. Faith is not simply belief. Authentic faith moves us to action. As we trust God to work on our behalf, in faith, we move knowing He will show up.
This is what we so often miss. We want God to do things for us, but many times, God is wanting to do things through us. He wants to speak through our words. He wants to restore through our embrace. He wants to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, expand the Kingdom, and more through our blood, sweat, and tears. When our actions reflect faith in Him to empower us as we move, the power in us is released through us.
This principle is especially true in our relationships.
A gentle answer turns away wrath. How hard is it to remain gentle when someone is yelling? But if we choose to ignore our heated emotions, but instead move according to the Spirit in gentleness, God will do amazing things in the other person. Responding in the Spirit’s nature, not our own releases power from Heaven by the Spirit. This power moves through us to change them.
Most of us do not like it when someone is upset. And when they lash out, we feel justified to do the same. We have convinced ourselves that if we can be louder and meaner, it will make them stop. But an escalated argument is all that comes from this response. That response is not of God. The Holy Spirit would never respond like that. He is gentle. If we can instead subdue our emotions and force our words, facial expressions, and body language to obey the Spirit, His power will rush through us into them.
It may not happen with the first phrase out of our mouth, but a consistent gentle response will change the dynamics of the relationship. We can’t change our own hearts much less the hearts of others. But God is able to do all things.
Prayer: Lord, help me to subdue negative emotional responses and act according to the Spirit that You might work through me. Amen.