October 11, 2007 • By Ed Wrather
A fool’s wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame. - Proverbs 12:16 NKJV.
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. - Proverbs 15:1-3 NKJV.
A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention. - Proverbs 15:18 NKJV.
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. - Proverbs 16:32 NKJV.
The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression. - Proverbs 19:11 NKJV.
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 4:31-32 NKJV.
Jeff Goza unintentionally cut off a driver of a Volvo and according to Jeff, it was clear that the Volvo driver was upset. The driver of the Volvo, Steven Stankovitch, followed Jeff and tried to cut him off too. However, Steven lost control; hit a curb causing the Volvo to flip four times. He then climbed out of the vehicle, which was now on its roof; and tried to start a fight with Jeff, who just tried to let Steven take out his frustrations. Steven now has some legal problems.
Maybe it was the high price of gas that drove Patricia Sasser crazy on a Tuesday morning. She and another woman arrived at the gas pump at about the same time. However, the other woman already had the nozzle in her hands. So what do you do? Patricia grabbed the gas pump nozzle and both women fell to the ground. Patricia then swung the metal nozzle at the other woman hitting her. Patricia now has some legal problems too.
A teacher’s aide to a fourth grade teacher somehow became upset with a student. The student had picked up a post-it note from the floor and stuck it to her forehead. The aide threatened to staple the note to the girl if she did not remove it. The student ignored the order, and the aide pushed the stapler against her forehead leaving two puncture marks. The teacher’s aide now has to look for another job.
I could list story after story about people becoming upset and overreacting. It has become a national pastime with collateral damage everywhere that we look. From children to the elderly, overreaction has become almost the norm.
What was the old adage? Before you do something stupid count to ten? That may not have been it, but still it might be helpful. Before you go crazy and ruin your life, and probably the lives of everyone in your family, take a moment to meditate on the consequences. Better yet, memorize some of these verses about anger and meditate on them. Yes, the Lord will forgive you. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins….” However, the consequences for those sins are still going to occur.
All the school shootings, the work place shootings, the road rage, and on and on and on; we cannot stop it all by ourselves, but we can stop ourselves from contributing to the problem. We can try to train up our children so that they will not contribute to the problem. It is not always possible, but we can try. We can try to be a godly and kind influence on the lives around us. We can do that and maybe, just maybe, there will be a ripple of kindness that flows out from this devotional to your life to another life to another life, which will bring peace instead of craziness. As the apostle Paul put it, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:17-18).”