“…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 1:19-20
The Lord has really brought strong conviction into my life recently (thanks Pastor Todd). I’ve been told that, ever since I was young, I’ve had to struggle to reign in my emotions. Typically, this took place in athletic events where I would get too competitive and quick-tempered and allow it to effect my performance and mental state. After losing, I would often be unbearable to be around.
Ever since I became a Christian I have become more aware of the destructiveness of anger and a short fuse. I’ve failed many times with this (ask my wife or kids) and then I must go to my wife, children, or someone else who I have hurt to apologize and plead for their forgiveness. In doing so I have found Proverbs 28:13 to be true (“He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion”). I want to obey Ephesians 4:31 to put away all wrath and anger.
So, why do I share all this? To sympathize with those who may share in my weakness. To give you hope that victory over sin can be obtained. Just this evening I experience great victory in this area in the arena of training our oldest daughter. My wife had dealt with her not eating her food for lunch earlier in the day. After sitting at the table for a long time…she was given the option to take a nap with no milk or to finish her meal, with the understanding that she WOULD be finishing that food for dinner this evening. My daughter (2 years old) chose the nap without food. She awoke from her nap in a pleasant mood and proceeded to ask for some milk, but we gently explained to her the choice she made. At this point, we could tell we were setting up for the pasta and peas showdown. At dinner time, my son climbed up in his chair and proceeded to dip the food my wife prepared for dinner this evening onto his plate and my daughter prepared to do the same…but instead was given her plate of pasta and peas (actually two things she regularly eats). She was NOT accepting that…for some reason her fit of rage was amusing to me, because it was utterly silly (I wonder what my Heavenly Father thinks of me at times)! Typically, these fits of rage on her end just send me over the deep end of anger…(who are you “oh little one” to tell your daddy what you are or are not going to eat!). But for this evening I can truly claim victory over this besetting sin! I calmly instructed her to quit throwing a fit and disciplined her appropriately. I never lost my temper or responded in anger, and as a result, in my calm, gentle, training and instruction, I avoided succumbing to the anger of man and taught my daughter to obey!