Why being angry is silly – James 1:19-21
James 1:19-21: Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
Just a few moment ago I was about to open my Bible to read James 1:19-21 and was distracted by yelling from outside my window. I glanced outside to see two men screaming at each other, and then one of the men punched the other guy in the head. And that was it, after some more yelling, they parted and a little shaken, I turned my attention to my Bible curious as to what the reading would be. And then I read, ‘let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.’ So often what is happening in my own life is reflected in what I am reading in the Word! My first response to this reading was that I am not an angry kind of person so how does this relate to me? And witnessing the argument outside my window seemed to confirm that, ‘I would never hit someone’, I thought. And then God brought to mind a meeting I was at recently where I found myself getting very angry by what people were saying. Thankfully I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut in the meeting, but afterwards I was slamming doors and getting seriously worked up. I drove home my mind full of thoughts of retribution, thoughts of how I would react, all out of anger and all absolutely ridiculous.
The next day I was still angry, still ready for a battle and then everything changed in a moment. In the midst of my anger I found myself talking to God, asking why this had happened, and God gave me this amazing peace –
Wow. Trust God. What ever happens I need to trust God. A smile entered my world, the anger draining away. And then I learnt more about the meeting that had got me all pent up and discovered that there was more going on than I realised and actually I really didn’t need to be angry at all. And this reminds me that I have a long way to go in my faith. I seek the meekness that comes from having the word implanted in me as the James reading states. Meekness is being quick to forgive, gentle, prepared to let go of that which would make me angry. I want to be able to forgive instantly, to be gentle and loving in who I am, not how I am. So I don’t want to act gentle and forgiving, I want to be gentle and forgiving. And this can only come from having the Word of God implanted in me. And this is why I spend so much time immersed in the Word, to graft this mighty Word into my soul; that it becomes part of me.
I seek you Lord, I trust in you. Praise God!
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