May 30, 2015
One of the most noticeable aspects of Christ-like thinking is how different it is from worldly thinking and culture. Proverbs 19:11 is one clear instance of that dissimilarity. The world says to return evil for evil. The world says if someone disrespects you then give them the full force of your anger. But God says here a person of good sense displays patience in being slow to anger and is honored by overlooking an offense. How different!
But even some non-Christian personalities of old understood the value of this wisdom. Seneca, a Roman philosopher at the time of Christ said, “It is easier not to give way to the passion than, when indulged in, to govern it.” Augustus, who often went into rages, was told to repeat the alphabet to give him time to calm down.
You and I also know the harm that is caused by “losing our temper” and letting it spew forth in words or actions. So the best approach is to begin by praying and asking God to give you a slowness to your anger (James 1:19). Then purpose in your heart to obey him. He will give you the strength to do it.
Prayer: Father, your word is so clear and so practical for my daily needs. Help me to have a calm, forgiving spirit and to honor you by overlooking affronts. Lord, give me the mind of Christ and the ability to display his spirit to the world around me.