James 1:19 The Beauty of Self-Discipline in Frustration

James 1:19  Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person hbe quick to hear, islow to speak, jslow to anger;

Recently after long day of traveling and layovers I was waiting with a friend for our final connection excited about finally being able to get some sleep.  As we entered the terminal the airline informed customers on a particular flight that it had been cancelled, and more information would be given in an hour and a half.

As you can imagine this resulted in frustration from the customers waiting for that flight (mostly groaning and shaking of heads) but one women got VERY irate this happened

She proceeded to go on a ten-minute profanity laced tirade demanding her “rights” and getting other people irate as well.  Visits from airline personnel and security did little to calm things down.

Suddenly about fifteen minutes before my flight was supposed to leave they announced the flight that had been cancelled was now LEAVING.  This was followed by an announcement that my flight was cancelled, and more information would be given in about an hour.  Slowly my friend leaned over to me and whispered “I think they gave her our plane!”  Editors note:  I should point out these were small commuter planes and not large ones

My first response to their giving my plane to someone else was frustration, especially since the reason they gave it away was to get rid of the angry woman.  However the more I thought about it, the last angry I became.

Because that’s how it works in the world

If life isn’t fair you scream, yell, and cuss people out while demanding your rights and they will give you what you want.  While It may not be as obvious as giving someones plane away the examples are all around us.

Which is why the command of James to be slow to speak (giving the idea of self-discipline) is such a wonderful thing. 

The world is filled with people who respond to the slightest offense as if their constitutional right has been forcefully removed going from calm to furious in seconds.  But if in the midst of the foot stomping, profanity, and self-indignation they see someone who is calm it makes an impact.

What’s wrong with you?

Your not yelling or angry at anybody

Your not demanding your rights

Your just sitting there calmly

What do you have that I don’t have?  The answer of course is Jesus

James isn’t encouraging us to become pushovers that everyone can take advantage of in life.  Instead his point is our first response to hardship should be bringing our emotions under control and asking “how can God use this for His Glory?”

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