Angry Boldness and Gentle Boldness — Learning the Difference
We all need to heed these very wise words from St. John Chrysostom. I know I sure need to work on this. Oh how often have I lashed out unthinkingly or said something that may be true, but not helpful.
If we speak in anger, we do it with passion and the “boldness” of those who are confident of their case. But if we speak with gentleness, this is boldness. Boldness is a success and anger is a failure. And success and failure can’t possibly go together. Therefore, if we want to have boldness, we must clear away our anger so that no once can attribute our words to it. No matter how sound your words may be, no matter how boldly you speak, how fairly you correct, or what not, you ruin everything when you speak with anger. Look at Stephen and how free his words to his persecutors were from passion. He didn’t abuse them but reminded them of the prophets’ words. In order to show you that it wasn’t done in anger, he prayed as he suffered evil from their hands, “Lay not to their charge this sin.” He was far from speaking those words in anger. No, he spoke out of grief and sorrow for their sakes.