This is the scripture that hangs next to my desk in my office. Why is it there? Well, because I can get really irritated at work, and it is not a good idea to be unprofessional. But mostly it is there to remind me who I serve and to whom I belong. Additionally, whether I am a follower of Jesus Christ or not, I have the genetic defect of many Scotch-Irish descendants, a fire-hot temper. It was a problem for me when I was young, and since I have been walking with my Lord since 1999, He has been pruning me of it ever since. It is a major challenge for me to give up my “right to be right”. If someone has hurt me or mine, (as that is usually my flash point) a major storm can erupt. However, I am learning, ever so slowly, to let go and let God fight for me. But make no mistake, I am still weak in the flesh and sometimes, sometimes I just can’t get out of my own way. I am very capable of hurting myself and others.
This happened recently, and the pre-1999 gal showed up again. I was very hurt by a deep running, lengthy and painful situation and in the process of working it out – I hurt others. It really doesn’t matter that I felt justified. In the end, I “lost my cookies,” “popped my cork”, “threw a rod…” whatever.
The thing about loving Jesus which sometimes really stinks is that He makes my heart SOOOO tender that whenever I do grieve Him with my choices and behavior, I cannot let it go. I cannot live with myself until I repent to Him and if possible to the person I may have hurt. It physically damages me when I bring shame to His Kingdom through my broken testimony. What I am learning is that when I run ahead of Him and His timing, I spoil the whole thing and I don’t leave room for Him to work through it all for me. Sometimes, I have had the patience to sit back and watch Him to move things around – people, hearts and events, to meet His timing and plan – not mine. I have learned in so many cases when I look back at the situations that though He might not have done it when and how I wanted him to do it – He did resolve the issue to His pleasure and process – not mine. His plan was better.
I have experienced this process recently too, as I had been estranged from someone for many years. I knew my own heart was not ready to be able to speak with truth and love to my friend. I prayed about it for it seems, forever. Then one day, my heart was renewed – just like that. God had changed my heart for me. She and I met. We cleared out the “elephant in the room” and God’s plan was fulfilled and peace between sisters in Christ was made. You just know the angels in heaven had a party about that one! I am learning that anger, though a gift to us from God can also really be a curse – that God tells us to be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to get angry for a reason, and as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind”. If we multiply that 60 seconds by all the days and months we stew over something – well, that is a life wasted. It may be that God will never be through teaching me this lesson, but I am hopeful I will be wiser next time, and controlled not by my flesh, but His Spirit.
Losing my cookies is yet another teaching moment for me, that I must lean not unto my own understandings (of why He made me this way), and acknowledge Him in all things (and that His way is right) and He will set my paths straight (thank God He does, because left to myself, I will fail every time). I don’t want to waste even 60 seconds of my life, and with God’s help, if there is a next time, I can hold onto my cookies.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. James 3:17-18
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27
Before the throne of the Almighty, man will be judged not by his acts but by his intentions. For God alone reads our hearts.
- Anger – venting and brooding (beencouragedblog.wordpress.com)