Wrath and anger?

This morning, I was working with my youngest on her verse memorization for school.  Shocker, my kids go to a private Christian school.  I know you are all surprised by that. (Please note the sarcasm)  Anyway, the teacher is letting her make up her memorization from December because most of the 2 weeks of December that they were in school, was spent preparing for the Christmas Play.  The students at the school are assigned a group of verses to memorize each month.  If they do, they are one step closer to Honor Roll.

This morning, as I was going over the first two verses on the list with her, I realized how awesome the verses were, so I wanted to share.

Proverbs 15:1

 1A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Let’s dissect, shall we? 😀

“A soft answer…”  To me this is obvious, but I’ll explain that this is referencing to not raise your voice.  Keeping your speech soft and controlled.

“… turneth away wrath:”  This means that it deflects, of sorts, anger.  Think about it.  When you are calm and cool and collected, it throws off the other person a little, and tends to, in many cases, stops them in their tracks.  Now, obviously, there is no reasoning with some people as they are so self absorbed that they only see themselves and what is happening to them.  Have you seen the video on YouTube that has been going around where a guy is getting ticked off at everything because all these other people have no consideration for what he is trying to do or get done?  If not, here…


Remember next time someone seems to be inconveniencing you, that  you have no idea, what they are going through. (Yes, I acknowledge that there are times that the other person is just as self-absorbed. 😉 )

Back to the verse:

“…but grievous words stir up anger.”  In case you don’t know what grievous means (from Dictionary.com)


http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/d/g/speaker.swf [gree-vuhs]  Show IPA


1. causing grief  or great sorrow: grievous news.
2. flagrant; outrageous; atrocious: a grievous offense against morality.
3. full of or expressing grief;  sorrowful: a grievous cry.
4. burdensome or oppressive.
5. causing great pain or suffering: arrested for causing grievous bodily harm to someone in a bar.
Based on the rest of the verse, I believe that 2, 4 and 5 are most accurate, but all 5 could be used.  This part of the verse would mean that grievous, or flagrant, outrageous, atrocious, burdensome, oppressive words, words that cause pain or suffering, stir up anger.  In case you are not familiar with the term stir up, again, from Dictionary.com:


  http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/d/g/speaker.swf [stur]  Show IPA ,verb, stirred, stir·ring, noun

verb (used with object)

4. to incite, instigate, or prompt (usually followed by up ): to stir up a people to rebellion.

I removed the other definitions because number 4 is rather specific to our purpose here. This phrase is saying that by using grievous words, you are inciting, instigating, prompting anger.  Now think about that.  When you get angry at someone, don’t they typically retaliate in the same way?  What would happen if we didn’t react that same way, but to answer softly?

 2The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

Tongue does not mean the organ in your mouth, in this case, they mean the speech or words, of the wise, uses knowledge, correctly. But the mouth, or speech of fools, spreads, pours out foolishness.  If you think about this, it makes perfect sense.  The important part is determining who is wise, and how is foolish.

 3The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

Another verse that doesn’t need much explanation.  Because of how big God is, and how great and awesome he is, he knows all that is going on, seeing the evil, and the good, the bad, and the wonderful.

4A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

From Dictionary.com:


http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/d/g/speaker.swf [hohl-suhm]  Show IPA


1. conducive to moral or general well-being; salutary;beneficial: wholesome recreation; wholesome environment.
2. conducive to bodily health; healthful; salubrious: wholesomefood; wholesome air; wholesome exercise.
3. suggestive of physical or moral health, especially inappearance.
4. healthy or sound.

So, a wholesome, or healthy tongue, or speech, is a tree of life. From Wikipedia, The tree of life (Heb. עץ החיים Etz haChayim) in the Book of Genesis is a tree planted by God in midst of the Garden of Eden (Paradise), whose fruit gives everlasting life, i.e. immortality.

This is implying that a wholesome  speech is like the tree of life, like the immortal spirit life provided to us by God.

“…But perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”


c.1369, “wicked,” from O.Fr. pervers, from L. perversus “turnedaway (from what is right), contrary, askew,” pp. of pervertere “tocorrupt” (see pervert).
So, perverseness, in that place or during that place in time, is a breach or breaking of the spirit, or the principle of conscious life.
5A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
A fool despises, hates his/her ‘father’s’ instructions, and not just a biological father.  Father here refers to elders, or the wise. And he/she that regards reproof, or rebuking, or expressing disapproval of the fool is prudent, practical, or cautious.
Those five verses really speak volumes, and it’s just five verses.  And these are from the Old Testament to which many think  can’t possibly have any relevance to today.  I’d say they haven’t truly read the bible.  I challenge you to really read it and study to actually understand it.

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