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Biting Your Lip

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

When someone does or says something that annoys you, how do you respond? That’s a difficult question to answer, isn’t it? Because all too often we don’t respond all that well, do we?

Have you ever had a mouthful of really lovely food at a restaurant and then right in the middle of it, bitten your lip? Ouch! It hurts, doesn’t it?

We have a saying that comes from that, don’t we? To bite your lip; in other words, when someone says or does something silly or obnoxious, and we just want to open our mouths and rip their heads off, and instead we hold back, we “bite our lip”.

I don’t know about you, but that sort of restraint can hurt almost as much as actually biting your lip. When someone says something that pushes all your buttons … come on, you just want to let rip, don’t you?

But that, as I think we’ve both discovered over the years, isn’t always the smartest thing to do. So in the heat of the moment, here’s something much, much … much smarter:

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

It’s true, isn’t it? Sometimes the smartest thing to do is bite your lip or, better still, deflect the sharp words or bad behaviour with a soft response; a gentle answer, an answer that, instead of pouring fuel in the fire, douses it with gentleness.

I used to think that the Bible was some outdated book full of a bunch of spiritual rules that belonged to some bygone era. But fancy God using it to put stuff in there to help us live life.

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

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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