Every Tuesday evening for 30 weeks, I spent 3 hours in a classroom discussing family life skills with a group of women and a trained marriage and family counselor. On one memorable evening, our teacher stood at the front and re-defined anger for me:
Anger is a false front – a signpost for another underlying root emotion. We use anger to cover up our shame, inadequacy, and pain.
Really? I grew up in a home where angry outbursts were the norm. In order to be heard, you simply elevated your voice and spoke with more passion. This was how we communicated. Now as an adult, I needed to re-learn how to engage in discussion without verbally sparring if I wanted to have a peaceful home. I needed to remove the roots of bitterness wrapped around my selfish heart.
What I learned through wise counsel matches perfectly with the truths shared in the book of James. Self-righteous anger is never healthy. We will never win the war by using our words as a weapon.
The Apostle James lived in a time where opposing parties were passionate about opinions, and he offered practical help to the early church regarding how to work through conflicts. The way of the world is to demand our own way, but in this passage we discover God’s equation for healthy communication…
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