My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. – James 1:9 NIV
Emotions are powerful. In an instant, our feelings are capable of clouding sound judgment: causing us to think, believe, and act irrationally. In times of intense conflict, we are tempted to believe the person on the other side is the enemy; they are not. This was illustrated in a situation that occurred within the Israelite nation in the book of Joshua.
The Israelites had been engaged in an intense battle with several nations and in Joshua chapter 22 we see that the Lord had given them rest. It was during this time that Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh and sent them back to their promised land on the other side of the Jordan River. On the way, they decided to make an imposing altar which enraged the whole assembly of Israel. Immediately, without any communication, the rest of the Israelite tribe was ready to battle with the Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh.
Although their righteous indignation was commendable, in this particular situation, they needed more information before forming a conclusion about the actions of the tribes east of the Jordan River. Thankfully the assembly of Israel sent Phineas and ten chief men ahead of the Israelite clans.
This decisive move prevented an unnecessary war and it is one we should all employ when knee deep in conflict. We must not act impulsively but seek understanding. In doing so, we can determine what is true about the person with whom we are in conflict. This is why James 1: 9 (NIV) says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
Dear Lord, Thank You for examples in scripture of people who chose to seek understanding. Please help me choose to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. May I resolve conflict in a way that honors You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
How might God be leading you to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry in times of conflict?
For more encouragement from Kia Stephens download her free ebooks, Hope for the Woman With Father Wounds and Forgiveness Hacks: 5 Strategies to Help You Forgive.
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