Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Slow to Anger

This is the next verse I'm working on memorizing.

James 1:19-20
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

The part that really struck me was "for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." Sometimes when I get angry at someone, I feel like it's justified if what they did was truly wrong. But when did two wrongs make a right? The other person's sin does not make my sin of anger justifiable. My anger usually doesn't accomplish the righteousness of God. It usually accomplishes my own selfish agenda.

So, how do you not sin in anger?
be quick to hear- truly listen to what they are saying.
be slow to speak- usually the first words to the tongue aren't the wisest.
practice love- love that overlooks an offense doesn't just happen. It's something that needs to be pursued with the help of God.
understanding the sovereignty of God- God often provides situations to help us grow in Christlikeness. What others may intend for evil, God uses for good. (Gen 50:20)

There is a place for anger. We will become angry. The Bible says "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger" (Eph 4:26). I think being slow to respond to anger is a good test of whether it is a righteous anger or not. And if you continue reading in James 1:21 it explains how, by looking to the Bible and humbly accepting what it says, it will guide your actions.

Lord, please help me to be quick to hear, quick to love, slow to speak, slow to anger, and forgiving of others as You are to me.

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