James 1:19-20 Dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.
I was a waitress for many years. The last place I worked was located in what I called “church alley”. It sat right in the middle of about 20 local churches. Needless to say, I would get many church groups in as customers. I knew a lot of them even thought they didn’t know me due to the fact that my husband was also a pastor and we would look up these churches or visit them in order to fellowship with other church bodies. With this being said, it never ceased to amaze me at the conversations I would hear on a daily basis coming from some of my Christian brothers and sisters. Fighting and arguing over silly things such as the way someone dressed Sunday, music preferences in the church, how someone raises their children, how to decorate or not decorate the church, the pastors haircut, etc… I heard it all.
There were times it took everything I had not to jump into the conversations and ask if what they were fighting about really mattered when it came to the Kingdom of God and lost souls, such as my unsaved co-workers who would also hear their conversations. What was this showing them about the way Christians act.
The Bible tells us over and over that we are to be humble, slow to speak, slow to get angry, and to put others first instead of ourselves. I understand that in todays world we are taught to put ourselves first, but God tells us just the opposite. Trust me, I understand wanting to get your way and even wanting to win a good fight, but I have also learned, since giving my life to Jesus, that He is to be Lord of all of my life including all that I do and say. This means that most of the time I should probably keep quiet and allow God to handle things His way.
Proverbs 17:19 tells us that that anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin. Trust me when I tell you that my entire life before coming to know Christ was filled with nothing but story after story of me allowing fighting and anger to control my life, but I am here to tell you that fighting and anger will not only hurt your spiritual life, but it can literally hurt you physically. Maybe this is one of the many reason Jesus warns us against it.
In James 1 it tells us if we listen to the Bible but we don’t obey it, that it is like looking at ourselves in the mirror but doing nothing to improve our appearance.
So next time you are tempted to argue, remember that Jesus teaches us to listen more than speak and to be humble, to love others more than we love ourselves. Sometimes by losing the argument you are actually winning because others may be watching to see if they see Jesus in you.