Tumultuous, harsh, uproar, anger, fury, rage, wrath, contention, vengeance. These are certainly words that would describe the current discourse in our country. The news is full of vitriolic examples and the media seemingly is fueling rather than seeking to defuse the situation.
There is no question that the horrific events of the past two weeks are tragic and terrible indeed. Justice is demanded and justice must be sought. How, we as followers of Jesus respond to these events though can be the difference between being “Tender or Tumultuous”. Let’s turn off our TV’s, devices and news for a day and turn to God’s Word for guidance.
Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:18 “A wrathful man, stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.”
The word “tender” means – soft, not harsh, not hard or sharp, gentle, mild, soothing. The Hebrew word for “soft in Proverbs 15:1 is the word – rak. It means tender or tenderhearted.
The word “stirs” in both of the above verses means to grate to anger, to meddle, or irritate, to provoke. And the word “allays” in the Hebrew text means to appease, to quiet, still, be at rest. – In our modern dictionary the word allay means: To put fear, doubt, and anger to rest, to calm, quiet, to alleviate.
The word “tumultuous” means – disturbance, uproar, highly agitated, turbulent.
I am not in any way suggesting that as believers we bury our heads in the sand and not participate in civil discourse. However, let me ask you a question, as you examine your own hearts, and if you look back at your communications through social media posts or conversations you have engaged in over the past two weeks, have you been “Tender or Tumultuous” in your response?
Proverbs 15:28 The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.
May the Lord use us to bring about healing rather than hurt, comfort rather than contention, peace rather than pain.