15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
What do John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and James Arness have in common? They were all "strong" men in the glory days of western movies and television shows.
Give up? How many times do you remember them shouting while uttering a memorable line? They typified the quiet, patient, but strong-and-you-don't-want-to-mess-with-him kind of character.
We can find some examples a little more to our point in these passages:
I Samuel 26 - David
I Samuel 25 - Abigail
Judges 8:1-3 - Gideon
I hope you will have time to look those up, and leave me a comment. Whose "soft answer" impressed you more? David, dealing with King Saul? Abigail, dealing with King David? Or Gideon, dealing with the Ephramites?
The NIV says the Ephramites "challenged him vigorously." I'm not sure what happened there; I guess there might have been some in-your-face attitudes, maybe even a little shoving. David, on the other hand, was fleeing for his life from a supposed friend and mentor. And Abigail, though her husband had showed his foolishness, was pleading for his life and making amends to her king. All three are interesting stories, and I'll be waiting to hear what you think.
In the meantime, I'll close today by reminding myself and others that patience and perseverance are important traits for Christians. And, we should always speak to each other softly and kindly. We see plenty of angry, demanding people in this world today. Won't we stand out more by showing persistent patience and soft-spoken confidence?
Have a blessed weekend!