Fruit of the Spirit, Self-control

Keep Anger in Check

Proverbs 14:29

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

Exercising self-control can be really difficult at times, especially when it comes to holding your tongue. I am finding that to be the case during the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic. It seems incredible that a virus could sweep across the world so quickly. Governments in every nation are scrambling to be bring order, security, health-care, advice and reassurance that everything is under control. There has been compliance within the fear, confusion among instruction, rebellion amidst self-preservation. Everyone has an opinion and wants to share it, and it keeps getting louder until it is just noise.

Have you ever heard something and immediately said “I’ve never heard such nonsense in all my life!”, or “don’t be so ridiculous!”, or other words to that effect? Somebody says something, your heckles are raised and you lash out giving them a piece of your mind. Anger in itself is not wrong, it’s all about how we handle it. When we are in conversation, we listen – we think – we respond; the centre part is where the control is. However, when what we hear causes anger, we tend to skip the middle part and jump right to the response, usually with some heat. James 1:19 reminds us to be quick to listen but slow to speak.

Self-control is the consideration between listening and speaking and I, for one, would rather have understanding than folly. The Lord God himself showed consideration over and over and was slow to anger; Moses said so, as did Nehemiah, David, Solomon, Joel, Jonah and Nahum! ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love’.

I pray today that each of us would add love to consideration, in all that we say and do.

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