Yesterday, James reminded us that we need to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. (Well, we’ve all had a day to practice. How is that going for you?) Today, he explains why anger doesn’t help us…
for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Don’t think that your anger is doing God a favour! When has your anger ever gotten good results? When has your anger ever made you a better Christian?
You may be thinking, “Isn’t there a place for righteous anger? Even Jesus got angry.” That’s true, but Jesus never got angry about things that were done against Him. He got angry when injustice was done toward His father or His friends.
When a Christian gets mad and says, “This is righteous anger,” that is usually just an excuse. The truth is that most of our anger is NOT righteous anger.
There is a right time and a right way to be angry, when we see people being treated unjustly. James doesn’t tell us to never become angry. He tells us to be slow to become angry.
If you have a short tempter – (a short fuse) – that does NOT please the Lord. In fact, that makes you a very controlling person. You use anger to make people do what you want. If people are always afraid of upsetting you, you are controlling them with the fear of anger.
The moment you feel your face getting red and your collar getting hot, you need to take a break and follow James’ instructions in verses 19-20. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Hold your tongue. Count to ten if you need to. (It really does work!) Don’t say what you are thinking at that moment. Listen before you speak. You may learn something to help you understand the situation.
Today’s Good News is that if you want the help, the Holy Spirit will help you hold your tongue.
Now, go share the Good News…
FAITH in ACTION!
If you are joining us part way through this Journey in James, you can access the devotionals you missed in the archives. (The series started on June 1.)
If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.