James 1:19: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
What does it mean to be “slow to become angry”? This is a feeling of intense anger that does not subside, often on an epic scale. It is quick and selfish. Some have described this type of anger as an atom bomb. It is over in the flash of a second, but the effects are long-lasting and impossible to reverse. That type of anger should not define a Christian, which is why James admonishes us to be slow to get there.
When we find ourselves getting angry, we need to ask ourselves why because our anger almost always defends our agenda. When we don’t get our way or something isn’t going according to our plan, we get angry. If we are to be about God’s plan and God’s agenda, then we should let God be the one to get angry.
You will notice that this verse says to be slow to anger, it doesn’t say to never get angry. When we do get angry, we need to make sure it is righteous anger, with the right motives and right outlets.
When wronged, let’s put the first two admonitions of this verse (quick to listen, slow to speak) into practice and then seek out quiet time to hear from God. Don’t bottle up your anger, shove it down, take it out on your friends or family, and don’t gossip to your friends.
Find healthy outlets for your anger. Go for a walk, run, or hike. Write your thoughts down and take your anger to God.
We will be talking more about righteous anger in the next blog.
Some questions for you to consider:
-When was the last time you got angry quickly? What was the cause? What was the outlet? Do you need to repent and apologize?
-Are you one that would characterize yourself as habitually angry? If so, get some counseling to find out the root of your anger.
-What should Christians get angry about?
-What is a healthy outlet for your anger?