We live in a fallen world where sin is rampant, injustice is common, and conflicts abound. So there are plentiful opportunities to sin in our anger. Although we cannot change many of these situations, altering our responses to them is possible.
Situations like struggling economies, natural disasters, and global tensions cause frustration, but difficulties with people can present even bigger challenges personally.
When hurt by someone's words or actions, we may be tempted to hurl a caustic reply or simmer with suppressed resentment. But 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 Pet. 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 the Lord for help to respond 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. Those who are slow to anger can gain understanding of the situation and the hidden motives that a hot-tempered person will never comprehend.
Such a response is unnatural since the One who modeled it is supernatural. Priorities need to change for us to emulate Jesus. Love and understanding must supersede the need to defend ourselves; preserving the relationship must replace safeguarding our rights. Let Christ be your defender and protector.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
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You can now read the Scriptures in Dr. Stanley's favorite teaching translation -- the New American Standard -- while learning the 30 Life Principles that have guided him for more than 50 years. The new NASB Life Principles Bible will enhance your personal study time through explanation of key passages, plus helpful resources like "Answers to Life's Questions," concordance, maps, and much more. Available in leather and hardcover.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.