“People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.”
Remember Paul’s action steps towards becoming more patient with people? “...You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” (James 1:19) These 3 steps all flow from one to the other. When we’re quick to listen, that makes us slow to speak, because we’re giving them a chance to talk first. And when we do those two things, we don’t get angry nearly as fast. When we speak out of anger and frustration, we start fights, we hurt feelings, and we say things we don’t mean. Our words have power. They can build people up, or they can tear people down. Solomon, the writer of Proverbs, goes so far as to say that the tongue has the power of life and death. (Proverbs 18:21)
When we don’t get these action steps right, there is destruction. But on the flip side, a patient parent builds their children up when they are slow to speak and get angry. Their children will feel heard, valued, and appreciated. When we strive to get these action steps right, our moments of frustration will go from anger to understanding. It helps to remove the things we say that we later regret. It takes away yelling and screaming and instead helps us to work through healthy conflict resolution. When we are quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry, we will continue to become a more patient parent.
Questions to think about:
How often has my temper resulted in saying something destructive?
What’s a practical way that I can remind myself to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry?
God, today I pray against anger that will keep me from valuing my children. Help me strive to continue to be slow to speak and slow to get angry. I’ll continue to look to you to be a patient parent and love my family the best that I can. Amen.