James 1:19-20 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
These verses contain three character qualities that are supposed to be present in our life. We are to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. There are consequences to our behavior. Anger does not bring out the best in us. It produces the opposite of what God desires. Sometimes it is better to say nothing than to speak, especially speak in anger. To be slow to listen and talk is to take time, even if briefly, to think about what they said and what I may say.
I am guilty of being slow to listen, quick to speak and quick to angry. Just to opposite of how God wants me to react. It is usually not until it is too late that I realize what I have done. I don’t listen to people or pay attention to what is being said. I talk over people or jump in at the first pause. And I usually get angry quickly with the people I love the most often regretting something I said during the process. The typical reason for all of this is a focus on self and not on God or others.
A quick anger is noticeable and limiting. It takes the focus away from the situation and puts in on a person. I have known more than a couple of people that have not been promoted due to their quick anger. If a business person will limit someone’s career, think about what limits we put on God’s will when we are quick to anger.
The difference between slow reaction and quick reaction is time. A pause. But many things happen during that pause. I can elevate the situation with my quick anger, or calm the situation without saying a word. A pause allows me to better understand what has been said. It allows me to reflect on what I have heard. I need more pauses in my life.
Allow me to pause. Allow words to rest within me and stay within me, slowing down my reaction so my reaction is a Godly one.