James 1:19-20 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
How often have you heard someone say, “Think before you speak”? I know I’ve heard it a lot. Probably because those who know me know that my “filter” doesn’t always work, and words have a way of just falling out of my mouth sometimes before I know it. More times than I care to admit, some of those words have been hurtful toward someone else. Why? Simply because I was angry, and I acted on that anger instead of stopping for a second to breathe and pray first. If I had just taken a moment to consider how God might have wanted me to handle the situation, I probably would’ve been able to aid in creating a better outcome. But alas, I spoke before I thought, and someone got hurt. As a result, I hurt myself too, knowing that I had just acted so poorly.
God gives us so many opportunities to practice showing His love through us. And when I blow one of those chances, I feel like a pretty big jerk! Especially when I act out against people I love. Anger is like a contagious illness. When you have the flu I bet you try to stay away from people so they don’t catch it from you, right?
In the same sense, we need to “quarantine” our anger so we don’t spread it to others. Our goal as Christians is holiness, so it’s important that we slow down and make sure we are hearing the situation properly. Then we need to take the time to really think about what course of action would be most pleasing to our God BEFORE we open our mouths. Sometimes, it may even be best for us to just walk away.
Just like you can’t put hairspray back in the can after it’s been sprayed out, you can’t take back your words once you’ve let them escape your mouth. So let’s make a conscious effort to remind ourselves to slow down, listen, and act in a way that God would be proud of. After all, why wouldn’t we want to please the One who sent His son to save us from our biggest mistakes?
Focus word of the week: PAUSE - Focus on pausing to think about your options before reacting to situations this week.
A Step Further: Can you think of a time that you let your words or actions get the best of you? Looking back now, how could you have acted differently in that situation?