James 1:19-20 (NIV)
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires….
Our Verse of the Day affords us some great wisdom when it comes to interpersonal communications. The Apostle James shares some rock-solid advice when it comes to improving how we interact with others. Quick to listen … slow to speak … and slower still to ever become angry. As James pointed out – human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires for our lives.
King Solomon shared similar wisdom for our edification:
Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. ~ Proverbs 10:19
Whoever belittles and derides their neighbor lacks wisdom, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue. ~ Proverbs 11:12
The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. ~ Proverbs 17:27-28
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart[a] of fools. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:8-9
I suppose there might be times for “righteous” anger to manifest itself. Consider Jesus in the temple with the money-changers recounted in Matthew 21; Mark 11; and Luke 19. But I think we are best advised to turn the other cheek in most cases – especially if the situation is simply going to be a “war of words.” As Paul advised: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Cf. Colossians 4:5-6) After all, we can always just agree to disagree…. Indeed, let us remember that the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Cf. Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 103:8; Psalm 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2)
My friends, I believe we would be wise to follow the character and example of our Lord Jesus in our interactions with people. Yes, let us be compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness. As Jesus commanded: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (Cf. John 13:34-35)
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin.” (Citing Psalm 4:4) Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. ~ Ephesians 4:22-27