"This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God." James 1:19 and 20
I believe that it's easy to move from "zeal and passion" into anger somewhat effortlessly. It sure used to be for me anyway. When emotions get involved and motors start to run, it is sometimes hard to recognize that we in fact crossed the line from passion to proving a point. We cross into dangerous territory when we move from passion to anger. I know this all too well as I'm a very passionate guy. It's not hard for me to easily share what I understand to be Truth with great fervor and passion. Knowing this, I'm learning to recognize when the Holy Spirit is telling me to back off and be slower to speak and quicker to listen. Until we learn this, I believe that it is unwise for any of us to venture out into any spiritual judgment. I must always be aware that I am submitted to the LORD and am not trying to execute any personal agenda over others. When I do, I too am found guilty of religious pride that exalts me above another. In light of this Scripture I must ask myself, do I truly desire to "achieve the righteousness of God"? If so, then it's imperative that I abstain from allowing anger or personal gain to ever have any place in my interaction with the Body of Christ.
Always keeping in mind that Christ alone is the Head and only the Holy Spirit possesses all truth is imperative for a Believer who desires to gather with others and see true unity present. Remembering that one doesn't have to always be right (i.e.: knowing everything) is vital to those who desire to gather together in Body life. Everyone has a role. Everyone has the right to state their view and lording over people has no place within the biblical order of the Body of Christ. I have personally heard some of the most profound things said out of mouths of many who would have absolutely no voice within the confines of organized religion. Education, experience and biblical knowledge have little to do with anything within this setting. It's each one's responsibility to show self-control and allow all involved to share on their level, without allowing pride to arise within them. All gather on a level field, under the lordship of Christ. No positions. No titles, just humility and edification.
"But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:25-28
Self-control is vital for any who desire to move ahead with others in unity and mature into a unified Body of Christ. I believe that love empowers us to execute it.
* Next up, what does it mean to be motivated by love?