So then, 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.
With the stress that we all live under on a daily basis these days, there seems to be an overabundance of raging anger. We have road rage, we have women killing their children because of silly typical inconveniences, we have people rioting in the streets and the list could go on forever. Anger that is allowed to just rule your body and life is a serious problem.
One of the biggest causes of struggles in relationships is that the desire to be heard is by far out weighing the desire to listen. There’s no quality in conversation when two people are just concerned about being heard vs wanting to get to the root of the problem by listening. Half the time anger stems from just not fully understanding each other and that is impossible if you aren’t listening! Listening can be very difficult if you feel you have been wronged but if the two of you can get in agreement to give each other a chance to communicate without interrupting (that can be the toughest thing) then you know you will also have the opportunity to speak. If you have a problem with interrupting it may be helpful to write down notes as you go (while you are still listening!) so you can defend what you need to defend or just say what you need to say, but let each other speak. It may take both of you taking a break before trying to talk until you can calm down.
Wrath here speaks of more than just getting angry. Wrath is a strong fierce anger or deeply resentful indignation. This is out of control anger. We all get angry at times but we are called to have godly self control. Galatians 5:22-24, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” When we are out of control in our anger as it says in the verse in James, it “does not produce the righteousness of God.” Usually where there is deep seated anger there is hurt or unforgiveness lurking deep down inside and it needs to be faced and dealt with in order to be free.
We are called to be different than the rest of the world, we are called to be like Him! Jesus will give you all you need to follow Him and to grow to be more like Him. Ask Him today to help you to be more quick to listen than to speak in all of your relationships and allow Him to give you the self control you need. He loves you, He cares about what you are facing and He will carry you through! The best is yet to come!
“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it?” Marcus Aurelius
“A sense of humor snuffs out our sparks of friction before they get to our fuel tank.” Fred Smith
“It’s in the struggle itself that you define yourself.” Pat Buchanan