Daily Devotional: Day 74
“Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20, RSV).
You are the pilot of your life. And your tongue and ears are the speed controls by which you steer the course of your life. Where your tongue and ears go, there your life goes. Don’t underestimate the power of speaking and listening. With your tongue and ears, you can build people up or tear people down. Learning to control the “speed” of your speaking and hearing is a mark of Christian maturity, godliness and wisdom. Wise and God-fearing people tend to be slow to speak and slow to anger, but quick to listen.
By contrast, immature people are emotionally unstable; they are quick to speak, quick to anger, and slow to hear. Such people have a high count of apologies (if they have the humility to apologize), because they have the habit of talking before thinking through matters. We live in an age where people love to be heard. For evidence, just observe social media trends. But notice also that there is a growing culture of impatience and intolerance. The Bible teaches us how to overcome the “speed” problem of our tongue and ears.
Most of us are familiar with the experience of driving vehicles. Accidents do happen. And one of the major causes of vehicular accidents is poor judgment in controlling our speed. Some drivers have a poor understanding of speed control. Consequently, they speed up where they need to slow down or they slow down where they need to accelerate. People get away with these deficiencies, but sometimes they run out of luck and the inevitable happens. Using this analogy, we understand that we can likewise ruin lives and relationships with our unbridled tongue and our uncontrolled anger. But the Bible teaches us that the way of life consists in being slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to listen. We, therefore, need to check the “speedometer” of our tongue and ears, and through the grace of God, make the necessary adjustment.
Don’t give the excuse that you’ve always been like that. God’s grace can make the seemingly impossible, possible, if you’re serious about changing. Anger and impatience have ruined countless lives and relationships, even nations and governments. Man’s anger, the Bible says, does not work the righteousness of God. Rule your impatience before it ruins you and the people around you. God is teaching us the way of life. Ask Him today for patience and wisdom, and take steps of faith toward change.
Holy Father, thank you for teaching me the way of life and happiness. Grant me wisdom and patience to become a better person for your glory. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
For further study: Proverbs 15:1-18