“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19–20, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Desirous of a righteous life? Do not be quick-tempered. How can we curb our anger? Be quick to listen and slow to speak. But all too often we want to get in both the first word and the last word. In the process, we fail to listen. If we do listen, frequently we listen to respond rather than to understand. And lack of understanding only fuels the anger.
At times, even with the precautions taken above, we will still get angry. But let it be a righteous anger, properly directed so that it does not become sinful. When it cannot (and sometimes it should not) be avoided, make sure it is dealt with swiftly and fairly, before another day passes. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. (Ephesians 4:25–26, NIV 1984). Otherwise, you allow the anger to simmer and fester, where it is more likely to “give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27, NIV 1984), making it more likely that it will result in sinful behaviors and/or attitudes.
My Advice – “Humbly accept the word planted in you.” (James 1:21, NIV 1984). Let it direct your attitudes and behavior and “the righteous life that God desires.“