“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
Have you ever been talking to someone and feel like they aren’t listening to a word you’re saying? Can you think of a time where you became quick to anger rather than taking a deep breath and remaining calm? What about saying something too quickly and then immediately regretting it? We have all been there, and I am here to tell you that the word of God provides wisdom on how to help us. In James, we are commanded to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. More often than not, when someone is speaking to us, we aren’t really listening to what they are saying, but rather thinking of what our response to them is going to be. God wants us to be better listeners rather than just “hearers”. As everyone knows, the tongue can get you into trouble, and we all know that once you say something you can’t take it back. This is why we are commanded to be slow to speak, so that we can be careful with the words that we choose to use. Now, you might be thinking, “Okay, I can be a better listener, and I can try to be slower to speak, but this slow to anger thing is going to be difficult.” Being angry is not a sin, it’s an emotion. With that being said, your anger can turn into a sin by the way that you handle it. God warns us to use wisdom in handling our anger, and through His word He encourages us to show love and grace instead of lashing out with emotion.
My challenge for you is to first be a better listener. Then, when you find yourself with something hurtful to say, think through how it’s going to affect the other person. Lastly, be slow to anger because God has blessed you in so many ways. Respond in love, instead of reacting in anger. I’ll leave you with this, “In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you’re still angry, and don’t let the devil grab a foothold.” –Ephesians 4:26
For His Glory,