October 15, 2023
When you feel angry (1)
"Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry." Jas 1:19 NLT
The Bible gives us three keys to handling our anger the right way. Let's look at each one and see what we can learn:
(1) "Be quick to listen." Don't react, and don't rush to judgment. Slow down and try to get the facts, then prayerfully and carefully consider how God wants you to respond.
(2) "Slow to speak." If you're unsure, or you don't know, just say so. There is an old Chinese proverb that says, "It's better to say nothing and appear to be a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it." Your need to be in control, or to look like you have all the answers, can come back to bite you. What you don't say, you won't have to explain or apologize for later.
(3) "Slow to get angry." Note, the Bible doesn't say that you should never get angry. It says you should get angry about the right things, in the right way, at the right time. Solomon says, "Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool" (Ecc 7:9 NLT).
That's why it's so important to deal with your hurts. An unhealed wound causes pain which often manifests itself in anger. The trouble is, we carry our anger around with us and vent it on others. As a result, they distance themselves from us, or distrust us, or deny us the intimacy and closeness we desire with them. The Bible says, "The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression" (Pr 19:11 NKJV).
Christlike character grows through exercising patience, love, and restraint.