Week beginning: 24th July, 2016
By | London
"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."James 1:19-20 (NIV)
A simple truth with no "ifs" or "buts"!
Have you had a real rant at someone recently? Shouted down the phone at the hapless lawyer on the other side? Or publicly upbraided a junior colleague in the office when they messed up a simple task despite your painfully clear instructions? Did it make you feel better? Did you reassure yourself that you were acting in your client's best interests by being firm? Or by reflecting that a trainee just won't learn unless they know how costly and irritating their mistake was? And besides, there's nothing unchristian about showing a bit of backbone, right?
We can all give into the temptation to let assertiveness slip into anger and to let robustness tip into aggression. Especially when some in our workplaces will celebrate belligerence. It is easy to lose our cool with an opponent or to get wrapped up in our seniority and self-importance and pick on the peer who is deserving of criticism.
But James reminds us of a simple truth which sounds a direct challenge to us as Christian lawyers. Man's anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. No ifs or buts. Man's anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Have we made excuses for becoming angry this week? Is it time to kneel before God, ask for forgiveness and ask his Spirit to inspire in us a new way to act at work?
1. Seek forgiveness from the Lord and reconciliation with those you need to on any anger issues that the Lord has laid on your heart as you have read this.
2. Give thanks to the Lord for a successful summer justice mission trip, and pray for our partners in East Africa as they work tirelessly for justice in difficult circumstances.