Today’s Scripture: A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Have you ever said something you regretted later? We have all had our share of arguments, but one couple took their disagreement to extremes. The Chicago Tribune reported that a husband and wife from London, England, became so mad at each other that the wife got in the car and drove over her husband. The 55-year-old man survived, but he had 45 leg fractures and a skull fracture. He had to stay in the hospital for five months, and his wife was arrested and imprisoned for causing grievous bodily harm.

But that’s not the end of the story. Even though he was confined to a wheelchair because of his injuries, the husband asked the court to set his wife free. He told London’s Daily Telegraph, “I can’t live without her.” The court granted his request and released his wife.

While it is remarkable that this husband showed such forgiveness to his wife, it is sad that their argument escalated to the point where it ended in violence. Conflicts such as this usually begin with the exchange of angry and unkind words. If the matter is not resolved, it will result in pain for both people involved.

Before we open our mouths, we should ask ourselves, is it kind? This will keep many arguments from growing. A kind answer shows sensitivity to the other person’s feelings. It is a response which says, “I care about you more than I care about proving myself right.” It says, “Even though I disagree with you, I respect you enough to try seeing things from your point-of-view.” This is the kind of answer that wins friends and influences people.

It takes two to have an argument. But one person’s kind answer can cut it short. I hope you will be that person.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder