Hear and Do: Speed Control

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19-20)

I love that the Bible never says, “Don’t feel angry!” God understands that’s not possible. Instead, he gives us some of the most practical and profound teaching on what to do with anger in all of recorded human history.

heardo_350First, rush into hearing. Listen long enough to clearly understand all the facts and all the motives, as best you can. Then listen again. Second, shut up. The first words out of our mouths in an angry situation are often the worst ones. When you’re angry, doubt your mouth.

Finally, own this: You’re not going to make any real progress toward your real goals while the anger meter is in the red. Wait for it to cool off before taking action or making big decisions. Don’t let your anger run your life.

Think: What are some ways you can slow your anger down – and keep it from sending you spiraling in an unhealthy direction.

Pray: Ask God for speed control over your listening (faster), talking (slower), and getting mad (slower).

Do: Ask a mature Christian friend or two what their strategy is for keeping anger from controlling their lives.