Friday, March 24, 2017

Slow to Wrath

James 1:19-20 “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

A Greek-speaking Stoic philosopher named Epictetus (AD 50 – 135) once stated: “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Wise words indeed! We cannot take back hurtful words spoken in anger. Many times we find that things said in hast ends up being a case of open mouth and insert foot.

I heard a story about a pastor who once counseled a church member with anger management issues and told him that every day he felt like arguing to remove himself from the situation by stopping immediately and take a five miles walk to cool down. The pastor told him to call him back in a week and told him how he was doing. A week later, the pastor receives a phone call from the man. When the pastor asked how he was doing with his anger issue, the man told him that he hadn’t gotten into one argument or fight the whole week, but was 35 miles from home and what to know if he could give him a ride back.

Proverbs 15:1-2 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.”

Change the “short-fuse” in for a long one. Replace your “thin skin” with “thick skin”. If feeling hot-tempered, take a “chill pill”. Don’t lose your cool; find Jesus Christ, for our wrath does not produce the righteousness of God. In a heated moment, take a step back and slow it down, say a quick prayer for the wisdom and guidance of the Lord. Think about the gospel message of salvation. Listen twice as much as you speak and be the reflection of the Prince of Peace, our savior and Lord Jesus.

In Christ, Brian

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