Growing in maturity

The life and conduct of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 17 teaches us much about mature thinking and behaviour. He removed the ungodly influences in the land. His behaviour resulted in him being respected. He taught others, and showed that influencing others is a true mark of leadership. He provided for peoples’ needs.

In our lives, of course we do well to move into increasing mature thinking and behaviour. But how can we assess where we are?

Anger is a litmus test for maturity. I believe how we handle it tells us where we are. Firstly, check that we are believing the truth about the situation (James 1:19). Next, we do well to realise that our reaction feels worst if directed to those we love. So be on guard when they are the object of anger.

Scripture indicates that if we have been harmed, anger can be a correct emotion. But it needs the right framework to be expressed or it destroys relationships, even if it is not expressed. The reason is that burning anger smoulders through bitterness and hardens into hate. As us medics say “it bleeds through”. Wise people avoid this.

How it is expressed is vital. It is right and proper to explain how a situation has angered us. But the explanation needs to happen through love and kindness. The slightest hint of bad feeling contaminates, and relationships then go downhill!

But best of all, respond, rather than react. In fact, His love enables us to avoid anger for as long as possible. Agree with criticism as far as you are able! Agree with any truthful statement others say, ignoring it’s angry package

The fact that someone is angry with me doesn’t mean that I have done wrong.

Coping with this needs to be learned – it is another feature of maturity.

How are you doing?

Published by John Sloan

Husband, father, grandfather, teacher, pastor and doctor. I am a keen observer of human behaviour, and an avid follower of Jesus Christ

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