“A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret.” — Unknown
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger”— James 1:19
How easy it can be to lose patience with the people we love most. We mostly refrain from losing our temper with strangers, and we especially refrain from being aggressive with new friends or coworkers. We don’t want to show our ugliness to the people who know us least, but we often let it all be seen with the people who know us best.
So we’re comfortable enough with our loved ones to show them our ugliness—we know we’ll be forgiven because of their love for us. That isn’t inherently destructive. The issue here is that this ugliness causes us to hurt our loved ones.
We know it’s not right, but we also have to accept that we’re human and it’ll happen. We have to try our darnedest to avoid actions or words of anger, in those moments when we want to release them most. Taking it one step further, we have to look for places where we aren’t being outright offensive and harsh with others, but when it’s more subtle—when we aren’t listening to or being careful in how we treat people. Lastly, we have to forgive others who don’t act this carefully. We have to be patient with not only ourselves, but also all the people we face each day.
It’s a challenge, but the reward is so sweet. The times where I’ve bit my tongue and listened instead of let my initial response of anger out, I’ve been positively surprised, have had more time to process how I really feel and what I should actually respond with, and have felt more at peace as a whole.
Our God knows a thing or two about how to love people right. In both the big fall-outs and the day-to-day interactions, I pray we can listen carefully, react with patience, and let our anger fade.