When our kids were teenagers, we had a boxer who didn't adjust as quickly as we'd hoped when our family moved from town into the country. “Dutch” ran away almost daily and we'd drive up and down the country roads calling his name and stopping in at neighboring farms. We finally trained him to stay in the yard but, several months later, we noticed Dutch in the yard looking down at black object. He'd managed to perfectly peel back the feathers from only the breast area of a still warm chicken carcass. The first time it happened, my husband had been cutting down trees and burning them, so he threw the chicken into the fire hoping it was a one time deal. Alas, it happened two more times and we knew we had to find out whose chickens Dutch was killing. So once again, we hopped in the truck and started knocking on doors. One of the farmers told us whose chickens they were, but the people weren't home at the time. So, we decided to send them a flower arrangement apologizing for their recent loss.
Thankfully, this gracious couple chose to respond without anger and accepted our apology; saying the chickens were old and they were going to eat them soon anyways. We were grateful for their kind response instead of indignation and anger.
James writes: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (1:19-20)
Father God, thank you for the couple who responded humbly and gently even though they’d been wronged. Help me to imitate their response when unexpected things happen or my needs aren’t met in the way I thought they should be. Please help me to remember that I can control how I respond when I get angry. Amen.
Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.