Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20
Alexander Brandenburger and Ralf Schulte are German entrepreneurs.
By that I mean, when they see a need, they set into motion the machinery which will answer that need ... and make a few bucks for themselves in the bargain.
Right now the need the two have identified is this: they believe German Fritzes and Friedas need an opportunity to blow off some steam.
To that end, the Germans have created a hot line known as "Schimpf-los."
Maybe your German, like mine, is a bit rusty. If so, I'll save you the trouble of looking up the word "Schimpf-los." It means "Swear away."
Right now, even as you are reading this devotion, in Germany there are operators standing by just waiting for you, or somebody else, to give them a call. More than that, these operators are fully prepared to hear you shout, scream and swear with the strongest, most foul words you have in your vocabulary. If you stumble, if you're not creative, if you hesitate, the listener will encourage you to new heights of profanity.
This "service," that's what they call it, is a service that costs only $1.49 per minute. They assure their clientele it is a bargain at the price.
I guess a swearing hotline is one way to deal with a temper and a foul mood. James suggests another. He says we should be slow to speak and slow to anger.
Yes, I know it's not always easily done, and there are those who might say it's not nearly as satisfying as the giving of a good tongue-lashing. Still, that is the way Christians are supposed to behave.
In doing so, we show the Lord's instructions are important to us; we show our desire to honor the Lord with what we say, and we say to all around, "Jesus has made a difference in our lives."
This is why I haven't given the number of the swearing hot-line. I know not a single one of us would use it.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the world has one way of dealing with the difficulties and problems of life. Christians are given a different way, a better way. May we, in our thoughts, our actions and our words glorify Him by what we say as well as by what we don't say. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries