I’m a hurried sort of person. There’s always one more thing to do on my list and one more place to go… typically a place to which I am running about 5-10 minutes late. Living a slow life seems to be contrary to my personality, but that doesn’t mean I should embrace that as the way to live. Growing up we had an old record (yes, as in those vinyl things that spin around and makes sounds when a needle is set on them) with a song that had the words, “be patient, be patient, don’t be in such a hurry.” I think there was a turtle singing the song, which fit nicely with the point of it. The truth is, we need to slow down when it comes to dealing with other people and making assumptions about their actions. I would venture to say that 9 times out of 10, when I get angry at people it’s because I didn’t really understand the entirety of the situation. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time to be angry, and that was modeled for us by Jesus and his anger at the people selling goods in the Temple courts. However, Stephen Covey has a great axiom from his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, that says, seek first to understand and then to be understood. I think he stole that from James! If you find yourself getting angry, take a step back to make sure you understand the whole situation; it could be that, from your limited perspective, you’re not seeing all sides.
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.