“He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly." Proverbs 14:29
Ever been in a hot argument and all the most recommended steps by psychologists to control emotions, specifically anger, go right out the window?
Why is it so hard to implement these things in the heat of a moment? (Don’t let the song by Asia get stuck in your head, haha)
My first theory is that we are not engaging in active listening. We are listening to respond. When we listen to respond, we hear exactly what we want to hear to make our answer seem right in some way. We don’t want our faults exposed, especially in an argument, and so we do everything we can to divert the attention from ourselves and our mistakes. We want to find a way to cover ourselves and so the walls and defenses go up.
Adam and Eve were the first examples of an attempt at a cover up. Yet, Christ understood that only one kind of cover would do. The Bible further says that a man who is quickly angered ends up making foolish decisions (Prov 14:17) and where strife is there is confusion and every evil work; and bitterness, envying, and strife are all earthly, sensual, and devilish (James 3:15-16).
So let me ponder how many foolish decisions I’ve made in my entire life and then let me ponder how many were made in anger and haste. I’ll have to be honest; I must believe that 90% of my current issues lie in decisions made in anger and haste. If this is true, should I be surprised?
No. Should I be surprised that my marriage suffers because of it? No. Why? Because if I’m having a hard time truly listening to my wife (or anyone else), do you think I’m truly listening to God or acknowledging the prompting of the Spirit? No. That’s a brutally honest and hard no.
I better be careful with the prompting and conviction of the Spirit for change; it’s quite possible to end up falling on def ears one day.
Daily Battle Order:
Proverbs 14:27 says, “The fear (respect) of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.” DO NOT let your anger be the death of you. Remember, every sin was covered at the Cross. Exercise humility and lose the pride. Listen; truly listen and don’t try to hide. Consider the anchor verse and don’t let your anger and haste exalt you as a man who lacks good sense, prudence, and foresight. Rather, remove your desire to protect your sin and be vulnerable. It’s going to hurt but remember the cliché phrase “pain is weakness leaving the body”; and a weak man is an angry man.