Tuesday, July 24, 2018

My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, James 1:19 CSB

Are you slow to anger or quick to anger?

The emotion of anger itself is not sin. It is actually quite normal and has a godly purpose. It helps us stand up for what is right, good, and true. However, if you do not apply God’s Word to anger, it can most certainly lead to sin. Ephesians 4:26 tells us, “Be angry and do not sin…”

There is a difference between acting out of anger versus interacting with our anger. Interacting with our anger helps slow things down instead of quickly acting on it.

Christian, we must continue to grow in bringing these feelings to God as soon as possible and let Him speak to them. This is one important way to put into action God’s Word in James, “be quick to listen, and slow to speak.” Learning to listen and listen well must start with our relationship with God. The more we grow in our ability to listen to God, the better we become at listening to others. 

So take a moment and interact with any angry feelings you may have been feeling recently.

What have you been angry about?

What have you been doing with this anger? 

What might be fueling this anger? Here are some possibilities: hurt, rejection, feeling wronged, offended, disrespected, injustice, fear, frustration, loss of control, and unmet expectations or needs. 

Because of this (hurt, rejection, injustice, fear, etc) what have you come to believe about yourself, others, or God?

Now take these beliefs, feelings and thoughts to God and talk with Him about it. Most importantly, listen to what He has to say. This not only means you are willing to hear His Word but also willing to accept what He tells you and instructs you to do.

Feel free to have this conversation with God as you walk, write, or talk and pray with others. You can work through this in moments of quietness or through the active moments in your day. God simply wants to connect with your heart. 

The second part of Ephesians 4:26 says, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” Meaning deal with it today and every day.

Anger is not something you eliminate, it is something you present to God as an instrument of righteousness (Romans 6:13).  So don’t  let your anger go unresolved. Deal with it now. Present it before the Lord and let Him shine His light on it, speak life into it, and enable you to do what is right with it. 

Do what it says: Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.