Orthodox Thought for the Day


Monday, January 23, 2012

The power of gentleness

And when your enemy falls into your hands, do not consider how you can pay him back and let him feel the sharp edge of your tongue before sending him packing; consider rather how you can heal him and restore him to a better frame of mind.  Continue to make every effort by both word and deed until your gentleness has overcome his aggressiveness.  Nothing has more power than gentleness.  As someone has said, ‘A soft word will break bones.’  And what is harder than bone?  Well then, even if someone is as hard and inflexible as that, he will be conquered if you treat him gently.  There is another saying, ‘A soft answer turns away wrath.’  It is obvious therefore that whether your enemy continues to rage or whether he is reconciled depends much more on you than on him.  For it rests with us, not with those who are angry, either to destroy their anger or to inflame it.  St. John Chrysostom

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