Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20

Researchers have discovered all sorts of bad things happen in our brains when we get angry. Anger shuts down the creative parts of our brains so we are less likely to be able to solve problems. Unresolved anger impacts our health in negative ways. Here James tells us that spiritually we cannot achieve God’s purposes through our anger. Later in James, we discover we achieve the righteous life that God desires through peace, “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18).

Generally, we become angry when we are blocked from obtaining something that’s important to us. Road rage occurs when drivers are blocked from getting to their destination as quickly as they hoped. Employees become angry when they are blocked in their desire for a promotion, better working conditions, or increased pay. Parents become angry with their children when they block their desire for a harmonious family life.

To hold onto our peace and avoid getting angry it’s helpful to think about where we feel we are being blocked. If we have unreasonable expectations, we set ourselves up to have these expectations blocked. Or if we take on responsibilities that belong to other people, we won’t be able to control the outcome and our desires will be blocked. If we don’t listen to others we may find our plans are blocked.

Spiritually, by having a strong belief that God is in control, we know that nothing happens to us without his permission. Even when our desires are blocked, we know God’s aren’t. We can hold onto peace because God’s purposes are bigger than our inconveniences.