Today is August 16, 2018

Verse of the Day — Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.


You can diffuse a potentially explosive situation with a soft answer.


The Hebrew word above translated as “wrath” means “rage” or “raging anger.” Many times we find ourselves in a situation where we are confronted by a raging or angry person. For whatever reason, their temper has escalated to the boiling point and you are the focus of their dismay.

If you find yourself in this situation, God tells us to use a cool head and never respond in anger. God is slow to anger, and He wants us to reflect His loving kindness:

But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
—Psalm 86:15

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
—Psalm 103:8

The LORD is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
—Psalm 145:8

In most every case dealing with anger, a quiet response in humility will give you a chance to solve the problem.

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. —Proverbs 14:29

. . . the slow to anger pacifies contention. —Proverbs 15:18


Dear Compass,

I have several siblings who have a long history (20 plus years) with drug dependency. My brother has a long history of stealing. This includes “borrowing” and never returning, bailing him out and never being paid back, etc. Primarily it’s money, but there have been times when jewelry is missing as well as unframed art prints and even my father’s guns. Basically, anything that is easily sold for money.

My problem is that I don’t feel comfortable when they come to visit my home—especially when my brother comes by when I’m at work and my grown children are the only ones at home. I’ve discussed this issue with my kids and they say they don’t feel comfortable with them either but they also don’t feel right telling them to go away.

My daughter and I have had lengthy discussions about this issue, what’s the right thing to do, etc. She feels that the Bible is very clear about not casting away your family. Also, she feels it’s the obligation of the Christian to help those in need. Since she is in college, it’s not practical for her to move out. Does my guilt mean that I’m holding my earthly treasures more valuable than serving God?


The Bible doesn’t say we are to hold the family together at all costs. Actually, it says there may be situations that will cause a family to separate:

Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three. They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. —Luke 12:51

But your question may be better answered using stewardship guidelines. The Bible speaks of thieves as unfaithful

He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life;
He hears the oath but tells nothing.
—Proverbs 29:24

and shameful

As the thief is shamed when he is discovered,
So the house of Israel is shamed;
They, their kings, their princes
And their priests and their prophets,
—Jeremiah 2:26

It also discusses ways to keep things from being stolen:

But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. —Luke 12:39

Since we are to be good stewards of that which God entrusts to us, it makes no sense to take more chances on losing your God-given assets.

For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, “Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.”

His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”

Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, “Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.”

His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”

And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.”

But his master answered and said to him, “You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.

Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.” For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. —Matthew 25:14-29

Your daughter should honor your wishes. If she doesn’t, she has the option of moving out and providing her own housing while in college.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. —Exodus 20:12


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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.

Answers to questions in GML are intended to be supplementary and in the spirit of Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, and 26:26, which calls for believers to seek counsel from more than one person. Therefore, it is not recommended that any decision be based solely on GML’s answer, but rather it be considered one of several counselors when determining a course of action.

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