Unlock a Secret to Inner Peace With This Godly Discipline

Being slow to anger will set you on your way to inner peace.
Are you slow to anger or do people set you off easily? (Flickr )

Quick! S-l-o-w ... S-l-o-w ...

Quick! S-l-o-w ... S-l-o-w ...

If you desire to build stronger relationships, be a quality leader and attract more friends, perhaps you need to learn the value of the "Quick! S-l-o-w ... S-l-o-w ..." secret to life.

This philosophy has been around for nearly 2,000 years, although, truthfully, not many actually put it into practice. It's hard to discipline oneself to actually embrace this powerful life system, but once you get the hang of it, you will never regret it. 

" ... Everyone must be quick to hear ... slow to speak ... and slow to anger" (James 1:19, ESV).

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What powerful advice from the actual brother of Jesus Christ that ricochets through the hallways of time. This advice holds as much power today as it did when James wrote these words to the suffering and persecuted church.

Did you know that it is more important to listen than to talk? It's more important to look someone in the eye, hear the nuances of their heart and give them your full attention than it is to think of a rebuttal, silently plan your rebuke or think about what you are going to have for dinner tonight.

Leaders adhere to this principal. Men and women who know the value of making others feel valuable always embrace the "Quick! S-l-o-w ... S-l-o-w" approach to life.

"He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise; and he who shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding" (Prov. 17:27-28, MEV).

The way for you to actually appear smarter and wiser than you are is to lock your lips and listen. You don't have to BE smart in order to SEEM smart; all it takes is being an interested listener rather than an avid talker.  As long as you are talking, you are not learning anything!

As much as politicians, preachers and media pundits might disagree, James and the Holy Spirit are in agreement—speaking is not the most important part of life. Choosing to listen well is the most critical decision you will ever make as a leader.

"S-l-o-w- to speak and s-l-o-w to anger" is the next part of this high priority discipline for life.

There should be very little in life that causes anger to erupt out of your soul. Perhaps it would be a benefit to each one of us if we determined to think for a long time and then to pray for a long time before we allow the seeds of anger to produce a bumper crop of impulsive weeds in the garden of our hearts.

This word for "anger" that James selected is a unique form of this word because it implies the punishment that anger gives or the punishment itself. Often when you are angry for a nonsensical reason, you are likely to punish people by giving them the silent treatment, by talking behind their back, by withdrawing my affection or by attacking them with vicious verbal fire.

"For the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God" (James 1:20, MEV).

When you quickly punish someone because you are angry, you will never achieve the results that God desires. God's righteousness is never ushered into a situation by punishing someone with a human and emotional response. Anger will often deny you God's true and wise answer to a difficult situation.

Ancient Judaism taught that to lose one's temper was to forfeit the Shekinah glory of God in one's life. Ouch!

God can and does speak but He rarely speaks through an angry person who is not demonstrating the Shekinah glory of God, but only their own unbridled impulses.

If you have a long-standing problem with anger, you need to get on your face in the presence of God and repent. Then, ask your Savior for power and strength beyond your human abilities.

"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty ..." (Proverbs 16:32, MEV).

Next time you are dealing with a truly difficult person, remember the "Quick! S-l-o-w ... S-l-o-w ... " principle. It is, after all, what Jesus would do!

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "A Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.

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