Slow Down! You're Moving Too Fast!
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Our culture applauds quick comebacks and witty replies! We celebrate them, make them memes, and re-tweet them. We anger quickly, and we are always - ALWAYS - ready to "get" someone before they "get" us. Our marriages are not exempt from this trend. We don't want to look weak or like we are being taken advantage of, so we must have a comeback locked and loaded just in case.
Here's the thing. God's Word tells us to do the exact opposite. He says through James, "be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath". That means we should ready to listen but slow to respond. Can you imagine what our marriages would be like if we took this advice?
What if we paused to think before we responded?
What if we paused to pray before we responded?
What if we didn't respond when it wasn't needed?
What if we weren't so easily angered?
This beautiful season that we are about to enter can cause us to be hurried and rushed. Our schedules are full, and our patience can become almost non-existent. In our irritation and frustration, we can lash out with our words, and normally those closest to us get the brunt of it. This creates unnecessary tension, chaos, and division.
My advice to you - slow down. I'll say that again. SLOW DOWN!
Slow down in the mornings. Give yourself ample time to pray and read God's word before you start your day. You'll be amazed at the level of peace you take with you from your prayer time. Your responses will be much more Christ-like, if you have spent time with Him before you start your day.
Slow down before you say yes. All of the events and activities of the season sound great, but you can overextend yourself by agreeing to every thing. Slow down, weigh your decision, and consult with your spouse before you obligate yourself and your family to attend one more party, service, or event. Check your calendar and check your heart before you say yes to one more thing. These added events create unnecessary pressure, and they can be one more thing that create anger and frustration. Just say no.
Slow down before you spend unnecessary money. Take a moment before you swipe your card or pull out that cash; why are you purchasing that item? Do you already have something like it? Will it cause financial strain? Should you really buy it? Will this be an argument later?
Slow down before you let that the long line or the rude person irritate you. Slow down before you snap back at someone. Slow down before you lash out in frustration. Pause. Breathe. Slow down!
Or culture wants everything fast and super efficient, but God is encouraging us to slow down. We must stop and embrace the beauty of this life that He has given us!
What will you do this week to slow down? Let me know in the comments. I'll be in agreement with you!