James 1:19-20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
These verses are an admonishment to believers. Practical advice to focus on listening and not speaking too soon comes first. Many a tough day in my own life would have been better had I obeyed this command! Immediately following is the “slow to anger” portion of the verse. Guess who is ACTUALLY slow to anger? Numbers 14:18 – The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness (NASB). So here the Lord is compelling us to be like Him – something He never does without also providing the effectual power to do so. Be not afraid to ask the God of all abundance to provide for you the means to “be slow to anger.”
Why should you do that? Why ask God to provide you with the power to be slow to anger? Because the wrath of man is not like the wrath of God. Our wrath is not often founded in righteousness; more often it is rooted in self-centered or self-righteous pride than the result of a love for Goodness. The real problem lies in our hearts. Being, or getting angry isn’t the issue, truly; it is a symptom of a deeper problem. But attempting to obey this verse will expose for you how terribly hard it is for us to be slow to anger like He is, even when that indignation may be justified! By meditating on this verse and truly wanting to adhere to it, we will see how insufficient we are in the flesh to follow even the easiest instructions; hopefully, this will cause you to turn to Him as source of the power you need.
For more on God’s glorious and amazing patience, click here.