Keep Calm and Carry On
“Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but one who has a hasty temper exalts folly” (Proverbs 14:29). We live in a broken world where sin is rampant, injustice is common, and anger and violence rage all around us. This growing trend can also cause us to fall into sin and anger. Struggling economies and widespread fear cause frustration, but these difficulties with people can present challenges on a more personal level. Although we cannot change the situations around us, altering our responses to them is possible. When hurt by someone else’s words or actions, we might be tempted to hurl a sarcastic reply or harbor resentment. But as followers of Jesus, we are called to model his life: “When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).
Today’s verse from the book of Proverbs emphasizes the value of being slow to anger. This is especially important when facing verbal attacks. Quiet listening protects us from speaking rashly and offers us the opportunity to seek God’s help as Jesus would. A calm gentle reply can defuse most tense situations, but without taking time to process what was said, few of us will be able to answer wisely. When we are slow to anger, we can gain an understanding of the situation and the hidden motives that a hot-tempered person can’t objectively comprehend. Such a calm response is unnatural, but that shouldn’t surprise us since the one who modeled it was Jesus. As Jesus followers, our priorities must mirror his. Love and understanding must overrule our need to defend our opinions. Preserving civility must at times replace safeguarding our need to be right. So, Keep Calm and Carry On, with Jesus as our defender and protector it's always possible.
Grace and peace always,