“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Keep Your Mouth Shut...

Don’t sin
by letting anger control you.
Think about it overnight
and remain silent.
Psalm 4:4 NLT

I've been angry this week. Frustrated. Mad.

Unable to put pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard for fear that I might sin... I have withheld my words.

Always wanting to be vulnerable and integrous here. But never wanting to spread my feelings like so many Utz potato chips for everyone to partake. (Because you can't stop with just one.)

As I was considering how to spur myself back to writing... I remembered this post... and it directed me back to the One who hears my heart.

originally aired Monday, July 14th, 2008
Anyone Can Become Angry -
That is Easy

“Anyone can become angry -
that is easy,
but to be angry with the right person
at the right time,
and for the right purpose and
in the right way -
that is not within everyone's power
and that is not easy.” - Aristotle

I had the opportunity to visit the church of a family member this weekend. The pastor's sermon was on anger. I thought, "Great! I can take a little mind break... I think I have a handle on this..." Boy! Was I wrong!

I was amazed at the amount of verses in the Bible that deal with anger. I've heard it said that if something is repeated over and over again in the Bible... it must be for great cause.

What impacted me the most is when the pastor said that often the emotion of anger is caused by feelings of injustice. When we think, "That's Not Right!" When we have a blocked desire or goal... when we feel slighted, cheated or attacked. When our rights are violated... but catch this one... when our perceived rights are violated. What? Back up the train! Repeat that... "when our perceived rights are violated."

Okay, OUCH! This hits home for me. Think about it... what really are our "rights"? what really are our "perceived rights"? Do I really have the right to expect everyone to treat me fairly? or to treat my son with special attention? or to have peace and quiet in my backyard? or for the gas prices to be lower than $4.50 a gallon? or for my rental car to smell new (or at least not like smoke)? Or to get free internet access at a coffee shop... that does work? Or to get that super close parking spot?

Then the pastor came in with the next punch... We tend to get angry when someone violates a personal right that we have NOT YIELDED to God. (Wait a minute! I thought I was on vacation here!!!) Hmmm....

So, maybe I'm the only one dealing with this issue... but if you want to know how the pastor suggested we deal with our anger over what we may feel are our personal/perceived rights...

give it up

That's it. Just give it up. Give up our right to not get cut off while driving... or while talking. Give up our right to feeling we should be the center of our friend's attention. Give up our right to being first in line. Give up our right to get free food on the airline. Give up our right to... fill in the blank.

Yield these rights over to God.

I'm not saying it is wrong to be angry. I'm just wondering if there are more times then not that I get angry over "rights"... that I'm not even "entitled" to... that I perceive to be my right.

Complain if you must,
but don't lash out.

Keep your mouth shut,
and let your heart do the talking.

Build your case before God
and wait for his verdict.

Psalm 4:4-5 MSG


Patti said...

Great post Sheri! Praying for you!! :)

Deborah said...

Are you sure we are living the same life!? I was up around 3am this morning and reading through blogs, but not posting, and came across yours.

I started a post about some anger issues me and my husband have been having and then decided it was just too personal and deleted it. I put it in a journal instead and have been adding to it daily. It started being a prayer and last night after reading your post, the prayer started being answered.

All things aren't well yet, but the process was begun. It amazes me how God takes the time to listen to my small issues and answers.

Praying for you, my friend.

elizabeth embracing life said...

I had to practice this very hard on Friday. I mean REALLY hard. I wanted to be angry over an injustice and then I thought God knows my heart and I can just let it go. Even my husband was impressed with how fast it took. He came into the situation and sized things up and later was like..."how is elizabeth going to handle herself". I don't get it all the time, but later was thanking God for how Proverbs always step into my brain in moments like that. Thanks so much for sharing.

Joyce said...

Ummmm Sheri,
I too needed to read this early this morning. I have been dealing with some "issues" with my children...immaturity on their part and not wanting to "let go" on mine in some ways. But...it is all working out.
Thank you though for being GUT honest. I love people like that!
Be blessed,