Quick to listen, slow to speak or become angry.

Everyone should be quick to listen. Slow to speak. Slow to become angry.

 

This verse from the first chapter of James was the basis of my husband’s message this week.  I wrote this short blog about this verse a while ago, but thought I would share it here.  Let me know your thoughts!

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I used to be very calm, peaceful. People say I’m very patient. They say things like “Wow, you were meant to be a kindergarten teacher because you’re so patient with those kids.” But in my heart, I have drifted from that person.

 

I have noticed that my reactions have changed. I am so much faster to anger. It started out yelling at my dog (Well, he IS naughty!), and then I was quicker to burst out at my kids or husband. It was touching every area of my life.

 

It was definitely a change in my mind more than outward reactions. I was not yelling like a crazy person, I did not hit or do anything physical. But I was having a harder time holding my tongue. I was thinking angry, mean, frustrated thoughts about petty, trivial, and un-worthy things.

 

This is not a “learn from me, I have figured it out” post. This is a “to be continued” post, because I am in progress with this. I am praying for God to help my reactions be filled with the fruit of the spirit that is already in me (Galatians). I want to be a woman who is “clothed in strength and dignity” (Proverbs) with a “quiet and gentle spirit” (1 Peter).

 

Part 2

 

Since writing this post about being “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry,” I have felt the Lord changing my heart in this area. It has been a slow change.

 

It started with realizing my triggers.

I noticed that I would begin to lose my temper in certain situations more than others. I would get frustrated when I was tired, when things were loud, or when I felt stuck. I began to notice patterns in my triggers. It was like God was whispering in my ear, “How will you react? Pay attention to your thoughts.”

 

Next, I changed my outburst to prayer.

In that moment, I started taking a deep breath and just praying, “God help me now.” And that’s it! Nothing fancy. And, of course, he did help me!

 

I focused on the bigger perspective.

There are very few things in this life that warrant actual anger, on a day to day situation. I am trying to look at the bigger picture. To think about the long-term.

 

I feel like God put that verse on my mind as a lens or a filter, and now every reaction I have, I see it in a new way.  I pray that we can all become more adept at listening and being slow to anger, with God’s help.

-Laura

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