Paul's E-pistle

Critter Trouble And A Soft Answer   Monday, August 16, 2004

If you read my e-pistle last week, you know I had a bit of skunk trouble. This week, I had bee trouble. Yellow Jackets!!! I used to be afraid of wasps until I met yellow jackets - in a personal kind of way. This week, a yellow jacket's nest was discovered in my parents yard. After discussing a few ways to eradicate the little critters, a bottle of bleach and some spray did the trick. 

Why did I kill the yellow jackets? Not because I was born hating them. Not even because they are bees. I wasn't even stung by any in that nest. So what was my problem with them? They don't have a soft answer! 

I've learned in life, that if you step on a yellow jackets nest, they don't ask politely for you to move. In fact, you had better move fast, at least that's been my experience. They are mean and will chase you, resulting in a sting or more. That's why I can't stand them. 

The Bible tells us that a soft answer turns away wrath. How do we react when we are disturbed, treated wrong, or even just annoyed? Do we give a soft answer or do we have the "wrath of a yellow jacket" in our response? 

If yellow jackets would just swarm and let me know I'm disturbing them without stinging, there would be many more of them alive today. I wouldn't set out to destroy them if they wouldn't have such an explosive temper. We have some bees at camp that I call ground bees. They live in the ground and they swam when you walk over their holes. But they don't sting and I don't bother them. They have a "soft answer". 

I encourage you to examine your life. Reflect on how you react to confrontation. Do you have a soft answer as God asks us to have? "A soft answer turns away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger" Prov. 15:1.