“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” (James 1:19-20, NIV).
There was this guy who had been bitten by a rabid dog and was advised by his physician that his prospects for recovery would be long and painful. The man grabbed a pen and began frantically writing on a piece of paper. The doctor responded by saying, "You're not going to die, so there's no need to write out your will in such a hurry."
"Will?" the guy replied, "I'm not writing my will; I making a list of all the people I'm going to bite!"
Have you ever wanted to bite somebody? Even been so angry you could take a chunk out of 'em? Maybe; maybe not. There are many around you who are feeling the squeeze; more than a few grinding their teeth. For there is a growing anger in our world today, fueled by any number of things, and headed for an unmistakable eruption. We are fast approaching the tipping point.
But how about you? How are you doing? Are you finding a way to handle our topsy-turvy world without blowing a gasket?
I think James gives us a good place to start when he advises – “everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” An old proverb says that God gave man two ears and one mouth, so that we would listen twice as much as we speak.
Why not cultivate this as a personal habit? Throughout today stop and deliberately listen – listen to those who want to talk to you. Listen to the music that you have playing in your car as you drive to work. Listen to the sounds of life happening around you. Listen to your thoughts. And, above all – listen to the Lord.
He will take the bite out of everything!