Know This!

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. (ESV)

When was the last time you blurted something out at someone without thinking – something that did some damage, something that you wish, on reflection, you could unsay, undo, take back?

We all have our triggers, don’t we? Something someone says or does set us off. And instinctively we want to tell them exactly what we think.

Over the years, this one thing has been the greatest source of my undoing; the greatest source of tension, of damaged relationships. The truth is, we can’t take it back. Once it’s said, it can’t be unsaid. And yet, it’s a mistake that we’re all prone to repeating over and over again. So what, pray tell, is the answer?

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. (ESV)

If we’re going to break a cycle of bad behaviour, then we have to change our immediate response right at that trigger point. And right here, James – the brother of Jesus – gives us the three simple steps.

Firstly, a rather strange turn of phrase, be quick to hear. Listen to the other person. Where are they coming from? Why are they saying what they’re saying or doing what they’re doing? Secondly, be slow to speak. Once you’ve grasped their perspective, discerned their reasoning, digested their motives, then speak. And finally, having slowed down the whole trigger-point, be slow to anger. Very, very slow. In fact, having learned to slow things down, anger tends to rise up far less frequently.

After all, when was the last time that your anger changed the other person for the better?

… for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

That’s His Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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