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Devotionals 2003

Overreacting
November 10, 2003By Ed Wrather

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. - Galatians 5:19-21.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. - Ephesians 4:30-32. 

D G may have overreacted after she received a speeding ticket. Officer Chip Raines gave her a ticket for going 51 mph in a 35 mph zone and after D G was stopped, she did accept and then signed the ticket. Officer Raines got back into his vehicle and continued his shift. He had gone only a short distance when he noticed D G’s Mazda rapidly approaching from the rear and before he could react, she rammed into the police cruiser. D G then rear-ended the cruiser three more times, but she wasn’t through. She tried to ram Raines again but she missed after he pulled to the side. She then turned around and attempted to ram the cruiser head on, but Raines was able to hit her vehicle from the side pinning it to the curb. 

Police spokesman Jimmie Wideman said that Raines, “…should be commended on his restraint, because it could have come out a very different way.” In reference to D G, Wideman said, “She turned a traffic summons into a felony charge.” D G’s car was impounded, and she is being held in a Hampton, Virginia jail without bond for felonious assault of a police officer. There was no indication of any drug or alcohol use by D G. 

It appears that D G overreacted to her traffic ticket - and that is an understatement. In Galatians, the apostle Paul warns against “outbursts of wrath.” D G definitely had an outburst of wrath and the result was the ruination of her life. She most likely will be convicted of a felony charge along with having to pay substantial court costs and fines. She damaged her car and will be unable to work while she is incarcerated. Of course, it may be very difficult for her to find employment after her release. Who would want to risk hiring someone who is prone to “outbursts of wrath?” 

I’m sure D G did not start her day thinking that she was going to try to kill a police officer by repeatedly ramming her car into his. What led up to this horrible over reaction by D G? What made her cross over the line from sane responsible citizen to maniac? We will probably never know, and D G is probably not sure about the answer to those questions herself. 

If we allow the works of the flesh to direct our lives, we run the risk that at some point we will lose control and our lives will be destroyed. D G is an example of this very thing. If we allow our flesh to express itself through rage - time after time we will find that at some point, we will cross the line into craziness just as D G did. 

Put the works of the flesh away from you and instead have kindness, tenderness, and forgiveness toward others. Ask God to take away the works of the flesh and replace them with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). Then, you will not have to worry about overreacting and see your life destroyed as a result. 

(A family member contacted me claiming that D G was a new driver having trouble operating a manual transmission. Unfortunately, I do not know how things turned out for D G in court...)


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