Slow to Speak and Slow to Anger

I am linking up for Five Minute Friday.  The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “slow”. I love spending time with this crew. They bless me beyond words. We’d love to have you join us.  Just hop onto Twitter on Thursday evenings and follow the #fmfparty. Hope to see you there! 

I have been watching intently. So much hatred and ugly words being flung in the world. I have been saddened by the words I have seen hurled at others. I am reminded of our text from Sunday when Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Now I know that is so much easier said than done, but it is our calling as God’s beloved people in the world. It is counter-cultural so to be able to even try to do this we must pray.

I find myself trying to be so careful with the words I say. I want to be slow to anger so I slowly think about the words that I share with the world. I want to listen to all sides. I want to be open to all sides of the story. I carefully pray for God to give me the words I need to show the world that all of God’s people are loved and deserve respect.

In the Small Catechism, in the definition to the 8th commandment, we are to interpret our neighbors actions in the best possible light. I know that is almost impossible to do, but what if we were slow to speak and slow to anger and instead were abiding in steadfast love for all God’s people? I know we aren’t perfect and never will be, but its a start. We need to think about what we say. We must try our best to be slow to speak and slow to anger. Anger doesn’t get us anywhere does it?

40 thoughts on “Slow to Speak and Slow to Anger

  1. Slow to speak, slow to anger. One of my favorite verses and one I need to follow more closely. Thank you for this reminder and I agree there's so much going on in the world and learning to respond with God's love and slowness is the key! Good truths!

  2. It's a good thing to aim for eh? I find raising my lad that I'm learning to count my words before I say them. It helps in the clarity. 🙂 I've a long way to go yet though.

  3. Slowing my conversational response time is something I've been working on for quite awhile; it's important. One thing I try to do is wait for 5-10 seconds after I think someone's finished speaking before answering. Doesn't sound like a long time…but it can sure feel like a long time!

    Great post, Tara, on a vital topic.

  4. This was the same scripture we studied last week in the 4/5th grade Sunday school class. It is a hard thing to do: love your enemy. I have to slowly come to that realization. I am not quick to love enemies. I try…I really do. But, it is so hard to love those that hurt me or others. However, everyone has a story. Everyone has the right to know love and forgiveness. May we continue to look for the good and slow down to find it in ourselves and others. Love, Jenn

  5. Sometimes it's harder to love our actual neighbors than our global neighbors, isn't it? But, I need to stop, think, close the computer, ruminate, and come back. Breathe. This season and climate is teaching me not to vilify but to listen. (As you said, much easier said than done!!)

  6. Wise words, Tara. In a culture where speaking off the top of our heads is practiced verbally and online, being slow to speak is counter-cultural. But, when we choose our words carefully, filter grace into them, then they are so much more powerful because they can offer life, not condemnation, judgment, or derision. Super post, friend!

  7. i think you meant interpret instead of interrupt our neighbor's actions… isn't it interesting? that is what we do with our friends and those we love. we put the best possible light on what they say. we assume the best motives to what the meant. but re our enemies? not so much:( it works just the opposite.

    i watch this happening with political opponents especially. whether it i the actual politicians or people involved in political disagreements. so often, the assumption is that the opposite group does not care about the country but only about self-interests. the truth is probably more that each group has some care about the country but disagrees re how to solve many of the problems. too bad we can't give each other a little benefit of the doubt…at least until we know their solutions don't work. of course it is scary…for sure, to treat our enemies as friends, and give them the benefit of the doubt. wow!

  8. Great post, Tara! In Rising Strong there is that great line about how everyone is doing their best… that really helps me when I start to get frustrated at someone and judge them…

  9. So good, my friend! Not easy… but good! Lots of love to you! I think in all the noise, it's good to remember also that we don't always need to speak! Slow and Silent is sometimes Wisdom at work!

  10. Wow! What a post Tara! I do wish people would slow down on the anger lately. Even some of the sweetest people I know have become increasingly volatile. I like what you say about imagining their actions in the best possible light. I think we can do that more and more by asking Jesus to help us see others through His eyes.

    Have a great weekend Tara! God bless you!

  11. This! this is great: "In the Small Catechism, in the definition to the 8th commandment, we are to interpret our neighbors actions in the best possible light." I love that idea of giving the benefit of the doubt first.

  12. Tara,
    yes, yes, and yes again!! 🙂 You really snapped the shot when you said that we must pray.
    This is the key. We are praying for daily strength and weathering a very tumultuous winter with all the anger stirred around us and we must pray for his peace that passes all understanding!
    So grateful for you!

  13. yes, to be open, not to "bear false witness against a neighbor" in all the ways that can happen, esp when we're too hasty and not slow enough. thanks for playing and for visiting my blog!

  14. This is hard, isn't it? I'm trying to do it in my own home, but my flesh seems to be getting the best of me lately. When applied to our communities and world, it's still hard. I guess we have to remember we are responsible for ourselves on not everyone else. We need to love as we are called, even when it breaks our hearts

  15. This: "but what if we were slow to speak and slow to anger and instead were abiding in steadfast love for all God's people?" is so important yet so very hard to do. Though unwise words spoken in haste can set a fire to feelings and cause a conflagration beyond all expectations. Thank you, Tara, for pointing us to the need to try to train (if not tame) our tongues! xo

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