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How Can I Be ‘Slow to Anger’ in Today’s World?

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. – James 1:19Our nation seems to be teetering on what some call a revolt or revolution. The news is full of rioting, burning, and looting in the streets. Even “peaceful” protests seem fueled by anger. Contesting voices deluge the airways and media. Anger invades our public, and even private, discourse.And we shake our heads asking, “Why is everyone so angry?”Undoubtedly, we’ve all experienced anger. We may express it outwardly, for example, when someone says or does something we don’t appreciate. Or, when the car won’t start, our spouse is critical, a prodigal makes bad choices, or our candidate loses. We also get anxious and mad when we feel out of control about occurrences (like a pandemic that we can’t change).Often, anger turns inward at ourselves. Maybe we didn’t get the job promotion. We failed the test, made a bad decision, or didn’t perform up to our own expectations.Sometimes, we’re even angry with God. Perhaps for the loss of a loved one, a troubled marriage, a devastating health diagnosis, infertility, or God not answering our prayers the way we want. Anger can range from annoyance and strong displeasure, to actual hostility that could lead to violence and bodily harm. Some people become so upset that it results in physical symptoms such as panic attacks, heart palpitations, sweating, high blood pressure, muscle tension, or tremors. No question, frequent uncontrolled anger can damage your health. Anxiety weighs down the heart… – Proverbs 12:25You can’t retrieve actions or words hurled in moments of anger. Uncontrolled raging anger makes us (and everyone around us) miserable. Repressed anger eats away at us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And yet, anger is a legitimate emotion that desires quick resolution. So let’s look at why James warns us to be “slow to anger.”Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Pheelings Media

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