My dear brothers, 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. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:19-22). You have heard that it was said, “do not murder” and “anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” But I tell you, that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. … and anyone who says to his brother, “you fool” is in the danger of the fires of hell. (Matthew 5:21-22). You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things…when you, a mere man pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the richness of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s patience leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:1, 3-4).
1. Why are we to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry? How must we accept the word planted in us?
2. When we condemn others with our thoughts, what does Paul (in the Romans passage above) say we are essentially doing? What does Jesus say about anger toward another in Matthew 5?
3. When is the last time you have been angry? What is your response? What kinds of things typically make you angry?