Gentle Answers

Proverbs 15:1

 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

I was offered a job in customer service once.  Even though I needed work at the time I promptly turned it down.  Customer service routinely works with angry customers to fix problems that they did not create.  They endure a lot of upset people who just want their problem solved and to get back to work.  The last thing I wanted was a job that involved being yelled at by angry people most of the day.

A bit of kindness goes a long way towards calming an angry person down.  It totally defuses the situation as an angry person just wants to fight.  It’s difficult to fight with someone who won’t fight back.

Once I waited 20 minutes at a fast food restaurant for a chicken sandwich.  It was 2 in the afternoon so it wasn’t exactly the lunch rush.  As I waited I began to stew about the ineptitude of the place and how they should know better if there were going to be that many people there at that time. 

Finally the manager brought me my food.  I was ready to tell them what a lousy restaurant it was and that they wouldn’t be getting my business again any time soon.  Instead the manager apologized profusely for the wait and wished me a good day.  I couldn’t blow my top after that.  A kind word is all it took.  We can do the same whenever we’re dealing with frustrating or angry people.