On this Friday, I’d like to invite you to a little self-awareness exercise. When I was a kid, I had a pretty bad temper. I cannot remember how many fights I started, joined and ended. Let’s just say that I was on every principal’s list and it wasn’t for the honor roll. Back in the day of spankings in school, I was the leader of the pack (WINNING). Wearing an extra pair of underwear became an essential part of my childhood morning prep.
I’d like to think that getting kicked out of Webelos would have taught me a lesson. But the phrase, “young and dumb” must have been created as a definition for my younger years. Not many kids, in Little League Baseball can say that they got tossed from multiple games for fighting. I know, I can’t believe it now either!
Here’s the point – Anger stirs up; patience calms down. Anger has a chip on the shoulder; patience smoothes over offences. Anger reacts poorly in the moment; patience protects us from ourselves. Anger looks for revenge; patience seeks peace. The goal of our human anger is to prove that we are right. The goal of patience is to make things right. “Patient persistence pierces through indifference; gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses” (Proverbs 25:15)
Even at 56 years old, my anger can get the best of me and show the world the worst of me. This is when I can choose to humble myself and seek forgiveness, or I can ignore its injury and risk ruining relationships. When we leave anger unresolved, it rapidly grows into a full-blown crisis. A crisis of trust, because anger always taps into our insecurities.
Let me encourage you to avoid folks who are “an argument” waiting to happen. “It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel” (Proverbs 20:3).
Patience seeks peace. And when we are lacking peace in our soul, we make terrible decisions and we ruin relationships. Patience sees the bigger picture of the God’s work and is not caught up in petty emotional fits. Why? Because “love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:4). And loving patience is a matter of loving people through their mistakes or misfortunes. Love conquers, then calms.
Well, Chuck…Just how would you suggest that I seek after this peace-giving patience? Let’s start with this: The Lord provides patience in prayer. When you wait to hear from the Divine, He waits with you. It is a huge ah-ha lesson in waiting before the Lord and listening to His personalized instructions. Prayer leads me to ponder, “Will I trust God and wait patiently, or will I, in pride, prove my point?”
Jesus calms me down so that I can patiently create a calm vibe in my life, my office, my kids, my spouse, and my home . “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes”