James 1:19 “…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…”
Have you said something in anger that you regret saying the moment it came out? It’s okay if you have because you are not alone. Acting in haste or anger can be a self-defense mechanism when you are offended, hurt, embarrassed, or feel incompetent. But this really isn’t a healthy way to deal with a problem.
Once you say “mean things”, the damage has already been done. If you and your girlfriend are arguing over a small matter, and she says something that offends your manhood, retaliating verbally to lower her self-worth or self-esteem really isn’t the best solution to make yourself feel better. What if your husband cheats on you, and you angrily belittle him or show how incompetent and less of a man he is because of his infidelity? That’s not going to solve your marital issues, nor will it give you a happy ending. In fact, it may draw him closer to the other woman and out of your life.
The passage above recommends three solutions to avoid hasty decision-making, angry words, or unforgivable behavior:
- Quick to listen
- Slow to speak
- Slow to become angry
We were given ONE mouth and TWO ears for a reason. Perhaps, this is because we should listen more than we should talk. The third solution is the most challenging, especially for bullies, people who are easily offended, or the insecure individual who thinks everyone is out to get them. Take time to really understand people’s intentions and listen to their thoughts before jumping to conclusions that they are out to deceive, hurt, lie, belittle, etc. Not everyone thinks as you think, live as you live, eat as you eat, puts the toilet seat down as you would, or loves as you would love them. While they should be mindful of your feelings, understand that others have a different upbringing. Their raw sense of humor may offend you, for example. Or they may have displayed sensitive information on a social networking site that you feel is offensive to you and your family. We tend to get into the “all about me” mode and forget that we are not the only ones in the world. Other people live here too. So not everyone will think the same, act the same, or be the same. If so, the world would be a boring place to live! If you learn nothing else, learn to not get angry so much. Being angry all the time weighs you down and can lead to stress, panic attacks, or even worse…a heart attack.