Godly Responses to Anger
Proverbs 14:29; Proverbs 16:32
We live in a fallen world where sin is rampant, injustice is common, and conflicts abound. So there are plentiful opportunities to sin in anger. Although we cannot change many of these situations, altering our responses to them is possible.
Situations like struggling economies and natural disasters cause widespread frustration, but difficulties with people can present challenges on a more personal level. When hurt by someone’s words or actions, we may be tempted to hurl a caustic reply or simmer with resentment. Yet as believers, we’re to follow Jesus’ example: “While being reviled, He did not revile in return ... but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23).
Today’s verses from the book of Proverbs emphasize the value of being slow to anger. This is especially important when facing a verbal attack. Quiet listening protects us from speaking rashly and offers the opportunity to ask God for help in responding as Christ would.
A calm, gentle reply can defuse a tense situation, but without taking time to process what was said, few of us will be able to answer wisely. When we are slow to anger, we can gain understanding of the situation and the hidden motives that a hot-tempered person can’t objectively comprehend.
Such a response is unnatural, but that shouldn’t surprise us since the One who modeled it is supernatural. Our priorities need to change if we’re to emulate Jesus. Love and understanding must supersede the need to defend ourselves, and preserving the relationship must replace safeguarding our rights. So be calm in all situations, and let Christ be your defender and protector.
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