Leading the Aggressive Through Listening: Answer Gently (Proverbs 15:1)

Does the aggressive in your life ratchet up his tone to get what he wants?

The aggressive will be loud, so rather than be intimidated by the volume, answer gently. Solomon said: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). A harsh word just adds fuel to anger’s fire, but a gentle one smolders it. Rather than going with our fallen inclination to raise the volume as well, we must answer gently. Each word in italics is vital.

First, we must answer, or the aggressive will run over us. He will respect the fact that we clearly communicate a response.

Second, the style of the answer should be gentle, powerful and under the Spirit’s control. This will help bring the volume down. A gentle answer gets us connected with the aggressive person’s heart like a Lego. He stops his rage and begins to think about our response. Jonathan appeared to gently answer his irate father King Saul (1 Samuel 20:24-29).

Next time you encounter an aggressive, listen for any good hidden in the heart of the person and affirm it. “That’s really a good idea!” or “You are really on to something!” are examples. Sometimes, the gentle affirmation will take place in a question, “Could you please explain that?”

All the while, remember that it’s difficult to argue in a whisper.

Episode 76: Leading The Aggressive Through Listening from mitchkrusetv on Vimeo.