Proverbs 15:1 (NLT)
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
May we keep peace and not stir up anger. Let our cause be spoken with meekness. When we are faced with hard arguments let us keep our words soft.
When I was a senior in high school, I worked at a Hardee�s restaurant as one of the assistant managers. It was my job to ensure things were running smoothly and that customers were satisfied with our product. If a customer walked away unhappy there was the likelihood they might not return, so we wanted to keep customers happy.
I can remember answering the office phone one day and hearing this obviously angry woman on the other end of the phone line. She began ripping into me about how she had gotten home and had found that her order was incorrect and that she was missing some items.
Although I didn�t know exactly what happened, I knew this woman was frustrated. So I calmly said, �What can I do to make this right for you?� She let me know rather quickly she wasn�t about to get in the car and drive back up there; that was just going to be too much effort on her part.
So I said, �I really want to make this right for you. How about I mail you several coupons good for free hamburgers, fries and drinks? This way you won�t have to make a special trip and you can drop back in anytime you want. If there is any money we owe you I can also send that to you.�
The woman�s tone changed immediately. She said thank you, but I wasn�t over charged, I just didn�t get everything I asked for. I told her I hoped the coupons would make up for her inconvenience. She politely gave me her address and I mailed the coupons to her.
This was one of those cases where you didn�t want to fight harsh words with harsh words. Instead it was an opportunity to use gentle replies to win back a customer that could have otherwise been lost.
In our relationships with others we should always try to deflect anger with a gentle answer. Instead of answering with a harsh tone, listen to the feelings of the person and acknowledge you understand their feelings and respond to them accordingly. Using harsh words can only make tempers worst.