Slow Your Roll

Jon Burgess


“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7:9‬ ‭


As soon as I read this verse I was reminded of another one in the New Testament that I often pray in heated situations: "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry" (James 1:19). I pray this often, but I do not live it well... yet.


It seems to me that we would all save ourselves a lot of grief if we had to read through these verses before ever posting on social media, sending out an email, leaving a voicemail, or typing a text. We do everything quickly and that's where anger wins every time. "Do not be quickly provoked" is basically saying "do not use the Internet" because almost everything we come across is there to elicit a response. The tendency to blast each other when provoked to anger because of something we have read or seen usually causes more harm then good. We may feel completely justified as we rapidly type our scathing response, but the after effect is usually regret and an irreparable divide. That's danderous reality with our instantaneous internet age. Once it's out there, it's out there forever floating the digital waves into hearts and minds having an permanent impact we did not intend. What if we let these verses be the prologue to our usual quick and angry monologue encouraging instead a healthy dialogue that's face-to-face and slow in pace? A good litmus test to obey the wisdom in these verses and not let anger have the upper hand in my haste to respond is to ask myself, "would I feel comfortable saying these things if I was face to face with this person?" Often we are emboldened by the distance and anonymity of the computer screen and phone keyboard and will communicate in a way that is hurtful and not helpful. Do we have to agree with everyone? Of course not. We just need to get anger out of the drivers seat and kick him to the back seat! Slow your roll with anger or anger will roll right over all of your relationships and witness! In order for reason, wisdom, and kindness to prevail over the hot button issues that get us fired up we must have safeguards and accountability in place.

1. Wait a day.

2. Have your spouse or friends approve it before sending or posting.

3. Pray for the person and ask for God's heart for them before responding.


Lord, forgive me for being quick to anger, quick to speak, and slow to listen. Forgive me for my pride that feels the need to defend my stance or point of view at the expense of relationships. Let me be provoked by love rather then anger. To be committed to preserving the relationships over putting someone in their place!

Devotions for June 08

Ecclesiastes 7,8,9
Ephesians 4

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