Thursday, May 17, 2012

Anger

Anger is such a strong emotion.  Strong enough that it made the Good Book.  We've actually been warned against it.  And - it can be quite a debilitating emotion as well.

It is an emotion that I've dealt with for years.  YEARS!

I don't, exactly, know where it started.  But the root is obviously there as it rears its ugly face (at least) monthly :o)  I could blame it on various circumstances/things/people through my life, but the fact of the matter is - I'm an adult now and I know right from wrong.  Anger in any other form, away from righteous anger is not condoned by God.  But I can't hide from the reality of being angry with [certain] people for [certain] reasons at any [given] time - I have to deal with it and talk/pray myself through those times - relying on the Spirit to make those feelings learn-able moments.

I've been reading in the book of James recently.  Such a short book in the Bible, but my land is it ever packed full of nourishing morsels!  Protein my dear friends - pure protein!  I've read through it twice now - starting on my third.  I learn something new each time I read it - each day that I sit down to digest more meat.  But the two verses that have spoken to my heart ever so softly is in chapter 1:
19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Oh man!  I need to say that one again...
...and again - "the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God."

Once more?

"the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God."


* * * ~ ~ * * *

Anger comes from pride.  And, as I see it, pride is the root of all evil.  I know I get frustrated.  Usually because the expectations that I've set have not been met.  Which then turns into anger, and before I know I'm spewing off at any one of those people/things/circumstances.  Why?  Because I'm not seeing the behavior I feel should be happening.  Because...I'm always right, right?  Or because I'm just like Mary Poppins - "practically perfect in every way".  OR...because I'm the mom and I said so?

I see this in my day-to-day life with my children.  I desire to see a specific behavior.   When I don't see it happening I become frustrated, then angry.  How do we know this is happening - typically I yell.  Yep - I'm a yeller.  Not a proud moment for me to disclose this secret, but that's who I am (working on not being).  Others in my family were yellers too (a learned behavior) and I'm still working on breaking that cycle....

But in order for me not to be a yeller, I must not be an angry person.  In order to not be an angry person...?  I'm still a work in progress.  I don't know.  You thought I had all the answers didn't you?  Sorry my friends, not even close.  However, verse 19 tells me how to act.  Be swift to hear.  Slow to yell speak.  And slow to wrath (anger).  Verse 20 in the NLAV (New LoriAnn Version) says:

"the anger or wrath of Lori does not produce fruitful behavior in those around her"

However, what about this?

Be swift to hear - if I listen more than I talk I may very well hear the heart of the person I'm communicating with.  And in hearing the heart of that person, I might understand why the behavior is what it is.  Perhaps that person is having a bad day?  Perhaps something tragic just happened?  Maybe they had one too many cokes and caffeine does something really strange to the temperamental emotional balance within his/her body?  Just sayin...

Be slow to speak - the slower I am to speak, the more I control that unbridled tongue Proverbs warns us about :  Death and life are in the power of the tongue, Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.  And the longer I control my tongue yelling the more of someone's heart I am able to hear.

Be slow to anger - ever notice the longer you don't respond to anger the less angry you become?  If someone does something that, just plain, ticks me off and I go shopping - I'm not so mad on my way home.  And it didn't have anything to do with the KitKat either :o)  Ok.  maybe it did.


She never yells - just sits and listens, intently!


Anyhow - 
Then there's a funny thing just a couple verses down:
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only...
If I read the verses and apply them to my life God promises me there is something in it for me.
25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
A lesson we try to drive home with our girls - "obedience brings blessing".

So what's my problem then?  Why am I turning the big 4-0 and I'm still dealing with this little problem?  Not like I've never read this book of the Bible before!  I guess this is where verses 23-24 come in...

23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

Application to my life?  

Read more.  Listen more.  Observe more.  Do more.




Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ali-ism; I Know My Way

Talking with the girls this morning...

I told them we were going to be cutting back more and more on sugar in the house as of tomorrow...

"No more trips to dollar general for a sweetie...", I boldly proclaimed.

To which my seventeen-year-old replies...

"That's ok, I know my way..."


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