Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
I am a hot head by nature and anger has been one of my flaws as long as I can remember. I am reminded of two pieces of wisdom that I was given by two different mentors about how to deal with my anger when I read this scripture from James. As a young teacher, early in my career I shudder at how I would fly off the handle, march into the Heads study or fire off angry memos. Then one day someone gave me some wisdom which I have tried to follow – write the memo, sleep on it but never send it. So now when I have a situation, or an email which makes me angry I try not to respond, I pray about it, sleep on it and pray some more and God always gives me the words, the grace and the strength not to retaliate. The second piece of wisdom was given to me a few years ago when I was in training. My minister advised me to chose my battles carefully as some battles are not worth fighting and will cause more hurt than healing. Slow to speak and slow to get angry.
Jesus gave us a model of how to deal with arguments and angry words, He taught us not to waste time on matters which are worthless, instead to save a fight for something that matters. However, the hardest thing that I have founder the years is to be silent when I think I have every reason to speak out and defend myself. But as hard as it is I have seen that often no response is the best response. Resisting to fight, to retaliate when you or someone you love has been hurt takes great strength, but all things are possible in Gods strength, because He sees our heart, he sees the situation and he will deal with it – not me. To resist the temptation to fight is to refuse to carry the burden of anger which only harms us and not the person who hurt us.
We don’t need to fight, we don’t need to hold onto anger because we can delight in a God who forgives, who heals and who loves to see His resurrection children turn to him and lay down their weapons of anger, hold back their words of fury and refuse to fight there enemies.
Be blessed this day and be a blessing.