Tuesday, July 22, 2014
There is an excellent piece of advice for all of us in the book of James, one that will not only serve us well to heed, it will help us avoid greater harm, even death, later on. I’ll try to clarify that comment in a bit. Here is the New Living Translation’s rendition of it: My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God's sight. (James 1:19-20) Earlier in the chapter, we are told that God blesses those who patiently endure testing. The truth is, this is where it all begins. The moment someone or something angers or upsets us, we should immediately see it as a test. If we ask God to help us at that point, we will find it easier to think before we speak and keep us from lashing out in anger.
This happens often: We say or ask something of someone we know they don’t like or in the past has upset them. Then when they lash out, we are hurt, angered, or offended with them, not realizing that we started the process to begin with. This could have been avoided by both parties if they had thought about what they would say before they did it.
We are living in an age where, more than ever, it is best to keep quiet or else think it over carefully before we say or do something. On a daily basis, we do so many things that are not really necessary. Here are two examples: (1) We honk our horns or make gestures at bad motorists. That is useless and unnecessary and won’t make them better drivers all of a sudden. As I hinted earlier, think of those who have died in road rage incidents just because someone felt the need to correct or rebuke a person they did not know. (2) Someone asks us for money or a donation and we proceed to lecture them for doing it. A simple no or “I’m sorry, I can’t help you” would have been fine. Remember that as God’s people, the help we need is only a prayer away and it all begins with enduring the testing.
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 118:6) The Lord is on my side; I will not fear what man can do unto me.