Wait 24 hours to respond.
“Remember this, my dear brothers and sisters: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and should not get angry easily. An angry person doesn’t do what God approves of.”
- James 1:19-20 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
I made a few people blunders this year that I still regret dearly. I thank God for His forgiveness and the heart work He’s been doing in me since then though. The first was after receiving my first ever negative response to my weekly newsletter and the second was me attempting to give someone “advice” to, essentially, stop being annoying. Again, not proud of this at all 🤦🏾♀️ Both scenarios had 2 things in common:
- I was emotionally charged by something they said or did.
- I was already in a low energy emotional state for other reasons when I responded.
I talked through the first incident with my core friend group and my therapist friend suggested an amazing tool she uses whenever she experiences an emotional charge from someone’s behavior: she waits roughly 24hrs before responding. When I tell you that suggestion felt like I unlocked a cheat code to life!? It’s like it gave me permission to NOT respond immediately to stuff. You literally don’t have to. Like, eureka!
The thought process behind it is that, typically, whatever you have to say in the midst of an emotional charge will never be constructive. Just like our scripture this week points out, nothing is wrong with being angry or emotionally charged, it’s what we do out of that space that often isn’t God-approved behavior. I forgot to use this new tool in the second incident and, again, what came from it wasn’t how God would’ve responded. I’m proud to say, however, that I’ve been using this tool faithfully since then and it has helped me love people SO much better!
I thought this would be a great message for us to chew on as we enter into the holiday season and prepare to spend more time with our loved ones (who may not always be the most lovable!). Be gentle this season [First Name]; with the people you love and with whoever God places in your path in life and business. Remember they are all worthy of care, patience, love and grace. And, if you’re not in an emotional space to give that to them, take a beat until you are. I’ve learned that this is a good way to be gentle with myself too.
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Still hungry? Eat some more //
- James 3 → The tool I shared this week is SUCH a great way to put this chapter about “taming the tongue” into action.
- 1 Corinthians 13 → keep love at the forefront of your actions this season.
- Have you ever read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? It’s SO good and there’s a tool it shares called the “love letter” that I’ve also been using consistently in my relationships to help me release negative emotions brought on by incidents and get back to a space of love before responding. EVERYONE who has relationships needs this tool. I am not exaggerating. It’s in chapter 11 of the book but just read the whole book too.