Today you should read: James 1:19-21
Have you ever been slow to hear and quick to speak therefore leading into an angry response? I know I have as I jump to conclusions hearing about something I don’t like and instantly spouting off my opinions into it without much thoughts and prayer with what I am saying. I also don’t think that I’m alone in this problem as my twitter and facebook feed is regularly filled with opinionated, angry status updates and read articles on Forbes renaming our country as the “United States of Anger.” What if we did things God’s way and follow the wise words James gives in today’s devotion where we reverse our natural reaction to people, issues and problems by being quick to hear, slow to speak and ultimately slow to anger?
When we truly listen to people and problems and don’t look for an automatic answer back to them we have more time to talk to God, seek wise counsel and respond back as God would to us when mentioned in Psalm 103:8 and Numbers 14:18-19. In fact let’s look at those verses real quick.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. –Psalm 103:8
18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’ 19 Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now.” –Numbers 14:18-19
These passages show God’s response to us where His anger is righteous and applied only after or in response to grace, mercy and love. It’s hard to chew on that grace, mercy and love when we don’t let people finish their words, we jump to conclusions and we don’t go to God in prayer for what we need to say next. That’s why our response is not usually God’s righteous response as James 1:20 mentions. The best thing about doing this God’s Way is that we’re doing what we hear in God’s Word above which causes others to want to know more about His Word and what else it has to say about their life and how it ultimately saves them. God’s Word leads us to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ which saves us and people want to know more about that saving message when we live it out in a counter cultural way then the world. Especially in how we listen and speak to others. So this week be a little more patient in your listening and speech as you have the opportunity to point others to Christ in your response to anger.
Posted by: Erik Koliser