Daily Life, Grace, Wisdom

Restraint

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

Proverbs 14:29

It can be so hard at times to keep our mouth closed when our hackles are raised. Our first instinct is always to respond, but we do have a choice in how that response is made. If anger has been triggered during a discussion or debate, we need to choose whether a fiery retort will achieve anything other than getting ourselves even more worked up.

Having great understanding gives us the ability to discern futile discussions and unproductive arguments which allows us to simply walk away. In James 1 we are reminded, let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.’ A hasty, knee-jerk reaction to provocation benefits no-one; all it does is cause something to be said which, although can be apologised for, can never be taken back.

The LORD softened his anger often because he understood his people, he understood their weakness, and his anger was replaced by mercy and grace. Exercising restraint may be difficult but choosing our words carefully can make a big difference. Proverbs 15 tells us, ‘a soft answer turns away wrath’ and that being ‘slow to anger quiets contention.’

The Lord grants us his grace every single day, so it only seems right that we should master the art of restraint and pass that grace on to others.

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