Therefore, 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.
~ James 1:19-20
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
~ Proverbs 15:1
How often do you find yourself in a situation where you want to respond
quickly and bluntly, with anger? It's easy to do that when someone offends
you. Our natural response is to defend ourselves, and we usually do that by
attacking the person who puts us on the defensive.
God calls us to a higher standard as christians. He tells us to be swift to
hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. Our wrath does not produce the
righteousness of God....instead, it stirs up anger and makes the situation
worse. Our angry response is like gas on a fire - the flames roar higher, and
consume all that surround them, leaving destruction behind. How often have
you responded to someone in anger, only to regret it later after you cooled
The book of Galations lists the fruits of the Spirit in chapter 5, verses 22
and 23. Two of the fruits are patience and self-control...we need to allow
God to develop those fruits in our lives daily. They are essential as we
learn to control our anger and to provide a soft answer to those who offend
us. Controlling our anger doesn't mean the other person is right, however,
but it does give us the chance to listen to them, to learn what lies behind
their anger, to hear what God is saying to us and then we can respond in a
Godly manner, one that brings peace and growth, rather than destruction.
Lord, help each one of us as we learn to control our anger. Help us to see
past the hurt feelings, to the person inside. Open our eyes to see what You
see, and grant us Your wisdom that we might resolve our problems peacably.
Let our lives be an example of Your power to those around us, and help us to
grow in Your mercy and grace.
In Jesus' name,