James 1:19b– Let every man be quick to hear (a ready listener), slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. (AMP)
Our driver, caught up in the frenzy, showed little restraint as we raced along Toronto’s 401 super highway. I wanted to scream that even the Apostle Paul traveled in the slow lane occasionally (Acts 27:7), but for once I was speechless! However, Jean, our mutual friend, brought laughter and a lower speed by gently asking this question. “Why is it that the car ahead of us is always going too slow and the car behind us is always going too fast?”
Isn’t it the truth? We see our pace as the perfect speed. We drag little children by the arm and force them to keep up to our large steps. We elbow our way through crowds to be first in line. We speak before we think and jockey for better spots on the highway. Would we call these things anger? Maybe not, but they are often the fuses.
We live James 1:19 in reverse. We’re slow to hear and quick to speak, take offense and get angry. Strength lies in a controlled temper.
Proverbs 16:32–One slow to anger is better than the mighty and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city (NRSV).
Prayer: Lord, you are slow to anger. If we want to be like you, we’ll have to learn to control our tempers. We are starting today. Thanks for being patient with us, God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.