It isn’t easy for some people to control their anger. Maybe you’re one who has a difficult time handling bad news, unfair circumstances, or heightened stress. Can situations like these send you in a rage causing you to say and do things that you later regret? If you fail more often than you succeed, maybe these words in James chapter 1, verses 19 and 20 can help you understand that learning to temper knee-jerk reactions are not just wise, but it is also a biblical virtue. It says:
"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."
For some, this is easier said than done. And although I don’t personally struggle with this, I want to be careful not to make light of how serious anger issues are for some. That’s why there are anger management classes, and mind and breathing exercises that help those who need it. But I believe that anger control is best put into practice when we are quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry as the bible says. If at all possible, when something comes out of left field with the potential to send you in a rage, I encourage you to stop and listen. Take everything in and think before you react. If you do, not only are you exercising wisdom, but you are reflecting the righteous life that God desires.
James tell us that everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Some people are born with this temperament, and others have to work at it. If anger is an issue with you, I encourage you to bring it before God. God knows, and James attests, that man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. To rid ourselves of attitudes and behaviors that are contrary to righteous living, often times we have to pray and rely on the Holy Spirit to help us. The flesh can be a challenge, but we can’t let it control us. And when we aren’t willing to listen and when we are quick to get angry, the flesh wins out.