I have been sharing excerpts from my book, “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.” I will be sharing Chapter three today.
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He Who Angers You Controls You
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brotherwill be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother,“Raca” [a term of contempt], is answerable to the Sanhedrin[body of authorities]. But anyone who says,
“You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell.
I have “a short fuse.” I can be easily offended and strike back with anger. As the years have gone by I realize that anger doesn’t solve anything. It only raises my blood pressure, and allows the other person to win. They get what they want. They got me frustrated and not thinking clearly.
I have finally gotten smarter and have learned to control my feelings to the point where I still may be upset about what has happened, but I don’t let it cause me to verbally strike out toward the other person. I don’t “count to ten.” I turn to God to give me strength to overcome my own feelings and think about the consequences for me if I fail in my quest to help others with their anger. I also ask God to help me have a calm spirit, and an understanding heart. I’m not being a good example to my children—or anyone else—if I don’t.
The following story makes the point about anger very clearly. Got a hammer?
There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him to hammer a nail into the back fence every time he lost control. The first day the boy drove 37 nails into the fence. Then he gradually discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. His father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father led his son to the fence. “You have done well, but look at the holes in the fence,” he said. “When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like the nail holes. You can put a knife in a person and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say ‘I’m sorry,’ the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.”
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.
A fool shows his annoyance [temper] at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.
How do you deal with anger? Do you have loved ones who can’t control their feelings some times? I have been a victim of losing my temper sometimes. I can’t put a bunch of nails in my fence out of anger because Charlotte would want me be put in a safe place so I wouldn’t be harmful to anyone—or the fence—again.
But think about this story each time you get angry. Tell it to your loved ones when they get upset. This is an easy story to remember. It is very short, but its impact could be tremendous.
Something to Ponder
Isn’t it funny that when we say kind words to someone they say kind words back?
Remember: Never, ever, give up!