You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. James 1:19
Many of us like to talk, and we believe it is our right to get angry when we choose. The impulse to speak and the speed with which we can become enraged are shockingly quick. We tend to speak before we think, and we get enraged before we consider how our anger will exacerbate a particular situation, which is unfortunate, because, as the writer of James says, our “anger does not produce God’s righteousness.”
One possible antidote to anger that can damage relationships and further aggravate difficult situations is to slow down. Don’t be in a hurry to speak, and don’t rush to judgment. Ask questions. Listen to the responses given. Try to truly understand the person or situation that is producing an emotional charge in you. When we accelerate our ability to listen and understand, we find that our impulse to respond in anger is greatly reduced.
Are you in a rush to be heard, and are you quick to anger?
Lord, help me to slow down and listen. I need to listen to You. I need to listen to those around me. Instead of forming a response in my mind while someone else is speaking, I should listen deeply and slowly as You advise. Perhaps when I am quick to listen, without worrying whether I get the first or last word, a sense of peace will overcome my impulse to anger. For this I pray, in Jesus’ name. AMEN.