Slow to be angry

James 1:19, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (NIV)

Wow the first thing that comes to mind about this verse, is that it seems something that Amish people would be telling their children.  It’s very good advice, but not one of the first verses I ever learned.  It has been sticking out to me, so much so that I had it listed twice on my verses list and didn’t realize it. 

So what does it say?  It says we can’t just think about ourselves.  So often we think of ourselves first.  We want people to hear us, we commiserate and throw our two cents into a story, we don’t want to be outdone, even by a friend.  We are very competitive talkers and sharers, but not as good at listening.  In our rush world with less verbal communication than ever, it is so easy to not really listen and hear when others are talking.

Being slow to speak may be one of the most obvious Bible verses for me.  I am a fast talker.  I rush a lot.  In doing things, in speaking and in my mind I always hear the hurrier I go the behinder I get when I am rushing and messing things up because I am hurrying.  It also means to me we should bite our tongues when we are upset about something.  You should always think about what is about to come out of your mouth, because you can’t take back harsh words and they can really hurt someone. 

Slow to anger.  This is another great one.  Before I had kids, I had the patience of oh I don’t know a two year old.  Since I’ve had kids I have become more laid back, I let things slide.  The old me would have been devasted if a kid spilled a full cup of chocolate milk on the sofa, the wall and the table.  The after kids me, realizes it’s an accident and take it at that, let it go, get some paper towels and tell your child everyone makes accidents, these things happen.  Be slow to anger.  Yes it is not something I was planning on doing, but it happened, don’t be angry because you don’t want your children to grow up thinking making a mess is the end of the world.  Growing up my home had to be spotless and making a mess was a big deal.  Lots of yelling.  Walking on eggshells and that’s something I never want my kids to feel like.

Some great advice for scripture that works in all areas of life.


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