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May 31, 2020

236 Quick To Listen, Slow to Speak, Slow to Anger, A Guided Christian Meditation on James 1:19-21

I'm Chaplain Jared and I work as a hospice chaplain and an ICU chaplain, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open for your heart to be changed by the Spirit of God. By using centuries old form of Christian Meditation named Lectio Divina:

Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation and Visualization.

Get into a place where you can sit comfortably and uninterrupted for about 20 minutes.You should hopefully not be driving or anything tensing or unrelaxing. If you feel comfortable to do so, I invite you to close your eyes.

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:

Breathe and direct your thoughts to contacting God. Let your stomach be a balloon inflate, deflate.

Bible verses for Meditation:

James 1:19-21

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Meditation on Scripture:

The concept of anger is challenging to address. In this moment, be slow to form a judgement and listen to this short message which I believe God has put on my heart to share. Passion and intensity are often associated with making positive change in the world especially against established forms of evil. This scripture says that our anger is not needed to bring to pass the righteousness of God because that is not what produces it. As you remember times when you were angry I want you to think about how well you listened. How well did you consider a wide range of information needed to make complex decisions. Many problems our world faces right now need exactly those solutions to work, which anger will derail.

I find myself personally very angry when I hear of people from the African American community die in direct opposition to justice. I also feel angry when the city I live in has a curfew placed because people are rioting and causing chaotic senseless violence in the streets. I feel frustrated to see people run to one of those two extremes while not listening to the other.

So I stop. And I listen. and I think. I have so much to learn. Are angry snap judgements helpful and healing to this crazy chaotic world? Are our shortsighted impulses the messages that will bring the change we want to see in the world? I invite you to join with me and be prayerful and thoughtful about how to overcome any snap judgements we mahy form and replace them with clarity as we plead with God for guidance. Perhaps with this guidance, we can do our small piece to heal our world. Perhaps God has a way for you to change people’s minds with love. Perhaps there is something that only you can do, it will take your best brain power.

Meditation of Prayer:

Pray as directed by the Spirit.

Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.

Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:

I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials.

Summarize what insights you have gained during this meditation and meditate and visualize positive change in your life:
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Final Question: How will your life be improved if you were more slow to anger?

Final Thought: In some ways I am sorry to bring up such a strongly polarizing message in this meditation. I have seen so many of my friends have such wildly different and passionate perspectives about these things that I feel it is on many people’s minds. These meditations are meant to help us make sense of the world of God which has clear messages for our times. The goal is not to help us compartmentalize the rest of our lives into the chaotic outside while the world of God is only discussed in idealized circumstances. Sometimes parts of us get mixed up in heated things which can be at odds with the peace we seek. I don’t think the only way is to be silent and passive. May God give us guidance in how to help improve the world we live in.

Slowing your body’s natural anger response and finding healthy vents for it can be a powerfully helpful skill to learn. I invite you to trust in God’s love to help us overcome the baser parts of our humanity and to rise up to make the change we want to see in the world.

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