How Quickly do you Get Emotional?

The other night I was reading James 1:19 about being slow to speak, quick to hear, and slow to get angry. The latter part of that verse suddenly stood out...slow to get angry. I've been really busy the past couple of weeks on my day job and I found myself getting upset quickly even to the point of not wanting to open another email or take a phone call. I complained under my breath with every new project request that came in. Rather than being grateful to have a job I can work from home, I was feeling frustrated, angry and resentful.

We all are emotional beings. God made us that way but He doesn't want our negative feelings taking over.

I'm sharing some tips that hopefully will help all of us, me especially, when we feel like our blood is about to boil:

  1. Step back. Rewind. Take a step away, walk outside into the fresh air if necessary to calm down and reset.
  2. Pray to God. This goes hand in hand with #1. Step back. Pray. Respond. The Lord will help you deal with your feelings when He's first in your life.
  3. Don't forget to breathe. Just taking a deep breath gets your mind on calmness and stillness and then you can face the situation better.
  4. Don't hit that send button too quickly. Sometimes you get a not-so-nice email and you want to respond with an equally nasty email, but have you really read what that person wrote? Maybe they aren't trying to be intentionally mean. They could be under pressure when they wrote you. Consider this before you respond back.

    And even if they were being mean, you don't have to stoop to their level. Respond with a short, in-kind message only addressing the issue or question asked, etc., but not how they initially conversed with you.
  5. Don't forget to laugh. Believe it or not, but laughter is medicine to the soul. Try to think of something that will at least make you smile. This way you change your feelings from anger to joy. And all of us can handle situations better when our mood is better.
I believe this is why James warned the early Christians so that misunderstandings and miscommunications can be avoided when we don't react so quickly.

photo courtesy of