Yesterday I introduced the big 7 and encouraged everybody to take a long hard look at their lives and ask Jesus which one (if any) of the big 7 you needed to deal with.
And I thought I would take a few blog spaces up with my thoughts on the big 7, one at a time.
So today we start with first on the list – wrath or anger.
I’ve always been envious of people who can control their anger (yep, there’s two of the seven right there for me, people). Remaining calm in stressful situations has not been my strong suit in the past, although my family says I’m making progress in that area (all thanks to Jesus, I can promise you that).
Let me take you back to the year 1997. I drove a beautiful new black Honda Accord which I really couldn’t afford but leased it anyway (can anyone say gluttony?) and I was living and working in the big ATL. One day a friend and I left the office for lunch, and on the way back ran literally into a big problem.
We were at a stop light on a slight incline. And older truck was in front of me, and I stopped a good distance behind it because the driver was rocking the truck up and back at the light (I hate it when people do that, BTW. Just stop the dadgum car.). Anyway, as I looked through the windshield I saw him start rolling backwards towards my pride & joy – my brand new, black Honda Accord.
I was powerless to stop it. I was screaming, “No, no, no, no, NO, NO, NOOOO!!!” But he didn’t – couldn’t – stop. That old truck rolled right up on the hood of my car causing extensive damage (of course, you just about can’t hit a speed bump without causing extensive damage to a car these days).
I was FURIOUS. In fact, there’s other words that probably describe my demeanor at the time, but no proper southern momma would use those words so let’s just say I was madder than a wet hen.
I came out of the car swinging – verbally and physically. I was going to take out whoever the idiot was that rolled on top of my car. I let a verbal string of ugliness spew out that was less than cordial. And when the police got there and Pradham Shiraz (I’ll never forget that guy’s name) lied to the police and said I hit him, well I came off that curb like a toddler sitting in an ant bed. Add in the fact that it wasn’t even his car – he was taking it on a test drive and neither he nor the owner had insurance on the truck – well, all that together got me so fired up my friend Debra had to literally stand between me and Mr. Shiraz and the police officer had to say to me, “Ma’am, you’re going to have to calm down.” (Pretty, I know. My momma would have been so proud…)
Let’s just say I had a little problem with anger back in the day.
Fast forward to last fall, when a young college student ran a red light, causing me to hit him and total both cars. I get out of my car and try to find whoever hit me to make sure he’s OK. Told this scared, sad and pitiful young man not to let this worry him – we were both OK – but to learn from this and realize that life is oh-so short. Encouraged him to make better decisions.
Same situations. Totally different responses.
It has taken me 20-some-odd years to deal with my issue of anger. And you know what? I was never able to control it until I recognized I had a problem, released it to Jesus and believed we could overcome it together.
I’m not saying I’m 100% anger free. But I am telling you that I know for a fact that if you struggle with anger you can overcome it by the power of Jesus. If Jesus can take a raging lunatic driving mean momma and transform her into a new creation, He can do the same for you.
“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” (Proverbs 29:11)
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