If you are around me much, you will often hear me say, “Slow the game down.” No matter the sport, it is often said about great athletes that they are able slow the game down enabling them to see things clearer, process better and make the best, winning decisions. They play the game within themselves and see things others simply do not see. Those, who cannot slow the game down, play frantically and impulsively ultimately making poor decisions that often cost their team a game.
Slow the game down is not only true in sports but is even truer in life. James, the brother of Jesus, explains in 1:19&20, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James tells us to slow the game down. Be quick to listen then slow to speak and slow to become angry. While listening to others, your mind and heart are engaged allowing you to process more incisively with wisdom and compassion.
If you have a “motor mouth”, your mind is actively expressing your viewpoint alone causing you to speak impulsively and often acting foolishly. Proverbs 18:7 is a wise statement, “The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives.” Later in the same chapter verse 13, Solomon is spot on, “To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.” Slow the game down and be quick to listen and slow to speak. You will discover that your decision-making is precise and encouraging to others.
The old saying is, “if the only tool in your tool box is a hammer everything looks like a nail.” I see people again and again lose their composure in anger. What makes this even worse, often this is a mom or dad. If I could say one thing to mom and dad’s, I would say, “slow the game down.” BE SLOW TO BECOME ANGRY. Often you voice reverberates throughout the whole house which is incredibly unhealthy to those under the same roof. James 1:20 “nails” this, “human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Another powerful biblical passage that slows the game down is Philippians 4:6&7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Before you bury yourself in anxiety, slow the game down! “In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” When you slow “every situation” down by “praying and petitioning God, with thanksgiving” before acting, you learn to trust God by offloading to Him and not acting on your own. This gives God the space to act. Then, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Adopt my life verses to slow the game down. Proverbs 3:5&6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Trust God and lean not on your own understanding. If so, He will slow you down and make your paths straight.