SOURCE: Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande
In responding to an angry reaction, remember that “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1). Respond to anger with a gentle voice, relaxed posture, and calm gestures. Communicate in every way that you take the other’s expression of anger seriously and want to help resolve the problems that prompt it. Plan ahead how to respond to possible objections and deal with them specifically and reasonably.
If you’re counting on excellent self-control or a naturally sunny disposition to keep you from responding harshly to a burst of anger from someone else today, you’re drawing from an awfully shallow well. Chances are your “well of gentleness” will run dry … at exactly the worst moment.
The source of the “gentle answer” to anger that’s recommended in Proverbs isn’t you at all. It is none other than Christ, as he desires to make an appeal through us precisely at the moment that another unloads anger.
As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, “All this”–including the ability to respond to anger with a gentle answer–“is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
So if you find yourself on the receiving end of a blast of anger today, don’t rely on yourself to respond gently. Instead, pray briefly, then invite Christ to make his appeal through you. As Paul notes, God has committed the message of reconciliation to you; it is your birthright as a Christian. Far more reliable than your own pleasant demeanor, it is a constant within you. Pray for God’s guidance to draw upon it even in the most trying circumstances.