Read James 1:19-20
19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. (NLT)
It has happened to most of us. We get an email or phone call which is critical of us. Or we hear a second-hand report of someone who has got stuck into us. What do we do? Jump right in and respond in defence of ourselves. As irritation or even anger pulses through our veins we tell that other person what we are feeling and thinking.
And it is just the wrong thing to do. We may need to state our case or clarify the issue, but not while angry. As our text reminds us, we are to be slow to speak or become angry. There may come a time to speak, and there can be such a thing as justifiable anger. But timing is everything.
A very wise strategy is to not make that call or send that email straight away. Let emotions calm down, reflect more deeply on what is happening, seek counsel from wise people. And then respond appropriately. To act on impulse may get things off your chest but those same things can come back to burden us and can certainly wound others.
If we are ever going to have a cool-headed dialogue, the heat of the moment is not the time to have it!