Hollering or Halting

He had much practice!

Recently I was in conversation with a former Navy Seal. As he shared his past experiences, he told me how God had changed his life when he was born again (John 3:1-22; Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:5). As a result, his speech changed as did his angry heart.

Then he said, “It is easy to holler at someone, but it takes compassion and thought to communicate.”

I said, “Would you repeat that for me?” I did not want to miss it.

“It is easy to holler at someone, but it takes compassion and thought to communicate.”

That was gold standard right there.

When’s the last time the anger and unbelief in your heart came out in your words without compassion or thought?

He’s right. It is easier to get angry, use corrupt speech (Ephesians 4:29) and lash out in pride; to let our deceitful, idolatrous heart have its own way.

  • A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression. (Proverbs 29:11, 22)
  • Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29)
  • But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person (Matthew 15:18-20).

A compassionate, caring individual will thoughtfully listen, pray quietly for wisdom, and sometimes not say anything.

If you are often given to anger, to harsh words rather than compassionate, thoughtful speech, soak your soul in the truths below. Rehearse them over and over in your heart rather than reviewing and recounting the words and actions of those who hurt you. Remember, no one can cause you to be angry or bitter. You choose to be that way by listening to your heart and feelings rather than forgiving others by the grace of God. Since He has forgiven you of all your sin, how can you do anything less?

  • Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
  • Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20)
  • Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:24)
  • Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. (Proverbs 18:21)

“It is easy to holler at someone, but it takes compassion and thought to communicate.”

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