“…Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:19
What does it take to truly make you angry? --Tick you off? --Send you into a rage? Are you hot-headed, quick-tempered, and able to add a retort faster than Superman can stop a speeding bullet? Is everyone in your midst desperately trying not to crack the eggshells you so strategically placed around you? If so, today’s biblical verse was created just for you.
As Christians, it should take a lot for us to truly get angry. We should not allow most things to rile our peace or push us to anger. It should take true effort on the part of a perpetrator to push us over the top. It may not be like this for you now; it may take a conscious effort on your part, and age—yes, age. The old adage is true, wisdom actually comes with age; because, the older you become, the more you discover that most things are simply not that deep to you anymore.
One of the things I have also noticed is, although I have become even more discerning in the friendships that I cultivate, I have also become more tolerant. I now take into consideration the triggers that may prompt another person to react negatively. It could be my words, a conflicting viewpoint, or even a misunderstanding in how we interpret the same incident. So now, I continuously remind myself of the text found in Ephesians 4:29:
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
The trouble with this text is, it is not supposed to be used by the other person on you; it is supposed to be spiritually implemented by you on them! It is not that you give up, concede, or relinquish your position to the other person; you simply make a determination not to push yourself or the other person, so far to the edge, all involved can maintain their self-control. Obviously, you cannot control the thoughts or actions of others; however, when you begin to think of yourself as an edifier of others, it becomes increasingly difficult to tear them down and quite easy to see their position. Sometimes, it is relatively easy to allow them to say whatever they like, knowing it will not affect your status as a child of God. In any case, you will find that you are able to administer a truce when you clearly see the beginnings of a war; or, simply walk away when you have determined there is no other option.
You have the option of controlling your anger, or allowing your anger to control you. Sometimes, it is as easy as remaining silent and refraining from a snappy retort; at other times, it will mean walking away with a solid amicable agreement to disagree. Either way, you win. You would have maintained your position, your self-control, and self-respect; but, more importantly, you allowed the other person to maintain theirs. L.
Study Reference: James 1:19, Ephesians 4:29
From: "Slow to Anger." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
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