Will a Mild Answer Work?
WHAT is the best course when someone is in a rage against you? What about a mild answer? A proverb that has stood the test of time is: “An answer, when mild, turns away rage.”—Prov. 15:1.
One of Jehovah’s witnesses in the state of Washington had an experience some years ago that well illustrates the wisdom of that inspired proverb. She explains:
“One Friday evening, I arrived home from the meeting at the Kingdom Hall to find my husband and eldest daughter in the living room. He was very drunk and had just finished cleaning his guns. He sent our daughter into her bedroom, loaded his pistol and, seizing me around the neck, placed the gun to my head. He threatened to kill me because I continued going to the Kingdom Hall, which I had a legal and Scriptural right to do.”
What could be done in such a situation? What would turn away the rage of a drunken, armed man? She gave a reasonable answer, but also a mild one. As she says: “I prayed to Jehovah for guidance and the right words. I asked my husband which one of our mothers he wanted to raise the children. He knew that his mother wouldn’t want them at all. And he knew that my mother would bring them up to be Christian witnesses of Jehovah. After quietly reasoning with him along this line for a while, I was able to talk him into giving up the gun and I convinced him to get some rest and think about the matter later.”
Now, some years later, this Christian woman is still happily serving God and finding joy in seeing her children progress along this line too. She says: “My husband has gradually grown less opposed to my Christian activities.” Surely she experienced the wisdom of the divine guidance: “An answer, when mild, turns away rage.”