James 1:19 – Understand (this), my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear (a ready listener), slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. (AMP)
Our driver, caught up in the frenzy, showed little restraint as we raced along the 401, the super highway that runs through Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I wanted to scream out that even the Apostle Paul travelled in the slow lane occasionally ("We made slow headway for many days" (Acts 27:7 NIV)) but for once I was speechless!
However, Jean, our mutual friend, brought laughter and a lower speed by gently asking this question: "Why is it that the car ahead of us is always going too slow, and the car behind us is always going too fast?"
Isn't it the truth! We see our pace as the perfect speed for everyone. We drag little children by the arm, wanting them to keep up to our larger steps. We elbow our way through crowds to be first in line. We speak before we think about what is going to come out. We jockey for "better" spots on the highway. Perhaps we wouldn't call these things anger, but they are often the fuses.
We live today's Scripture, James 1:19, in reverse. We are too slow to hear and too quick to speak, take offence, and get angry. Strength lies in a controlled temper.
Proverbs 16:32 – One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city. (NRSV)
Prayer: Lord God, You are a God Who is slow to anger. If we want to be like You, we must learn to control our tempers. We confess that we haven't always done our best. We are starting over today. Thanks for being patient with us, God. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.