Saturday, March 18, 2023

Slow to Speak

 By: Grace Metzger 

Everyone should be quick to listen,
slow to speak, and slow to anger.
James 1:19

That verse has been something that I have been focusing on a lot lately. Slow to speak and slow to anger have never been my strong suit. There is always the excuse, “they were rude.” “They were driving recklessly.” And so many others. It’s not hard to think of a reason to be angry, I’m sure you can think of a 100 reasons to be angry before even leaving your bed! So if there are plenty of excuses to be angry, then surely we can’t be blamed for having those bad reactions, for screaming, for getting into fights, right? The whole world seems so angry nowadays that becoming one more angry person doesn’t seem like it should matter.

Slow to Speak #anger #control #harshwords #fighting

The Bible calls us to be set apart from the world. To not only be slow to anger but also slow to speak. I questioned the slow to speak part a lot in this. I understood listening and slow to anger. Those, despite being hard to do, were quite easy to understand why God place importance on them. But why was slow to speak important as well? Then I remember all the times a harsh word left my mouth before I could even think of what I was doing. The times when I didn’t think before speaking and caused arguments and fighting.

How often do we speak before thinking? Probably more often than we even realize. We are quick to say a harsh word, quick to pass our judgement on, quick to get into fights. We allow us anger to control our words because we don’t take the time to think and ask God to take over. I look back and realize how many arguments could have been avoided if I simply paused and asked God to take control over my words.

Our words have so much more power than we ever give them credit for. In Proverbs 18:21 it says “The tongue has the power of life and death.” It’s not just talking about other people, but about us. Your words have the power of life and death! And, to quote spiderman, with such great power comes great responsibility.

How do we handle this responsibility? The best way I found is taking the time to stop and ask God to take over your words. I've said this prayer many times and have found that the more I use it the less I lose control over my words. This is the prayer I've said.

Dear Heavenly Father, please take control over what I'm about to say. Let them not be my words but Yours. Help me be calm and under your control in this moment. Amen

That short prayer has the power to change the outcome of so much! Once you start doing this you’ll notice so many changes. Anger, fighting, and so many other negative emotions will fade away. 

Discussions question:
1. How do you calm down once angry?

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