“Let every man be swift to hear and slow to speak.”

James 1:19

We all have a tendency to over react when provoked. Some have more difficulty than others controlling their emotions. Shakespeare said, “Oh what tangled webs we weave when we practice to deceive.”

James wrote, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19) Only when our mind, will and emotions are under the control of the Spirit of God can we accomplish His perfect will. In our fast paced world there are many temptations to respond quickly without weighing our words. However, the following principles can help prevent many problems caused by uncontrolled over reactions.

Choose your words carefully before you react. Solomon wrote, “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered” (Proverbs 27:17). Practicing the discipline of restraint is especially important in our conversations. “A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention” (Proverbs 15:18).When you communicate, use words that heal and nourish life instead of hurling angry words that wound and stir up strife. Choose to constrain your tongue until you have gotten godly counsel, it is always good to get a second opinion before deliberating on all points of an issue.

Choose to pray about your response before speaking off the top of your head. Solomon wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5,6) God’s Spirit is ready, willing and able to give you supernatural wisdom for every situation, if you will only ask Him.

Choose to ponder your decision for at least a day, many wise men have chosen to spend at least a day considering all of the alternatives, implications and costs of a decision before committing themselves prematurely. Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty”. Hasty over reactions are the cause of many poor decisions. Haste makes waste, so let us do all it takes to avoid over-reaction.

Garment of Praise

Monthly Insights for Spiritual Growth, Encouragement and Personal Victory.

Oluyemisi Onanuga

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

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