Blowing Smoke and Quenching Fires

Just before I got on here to post today, I went to my Dogster account to read the advice I’d asked for about a friend whose young daughter has mental problems, and is looking for a service dog. One member posted three separate times e-yelling about how this girl shouldn’t be getting any kind of animal because she’s young and has mental problems. I love this little girl, and let me tell you–the blood started pumping, I started reading faster, and typing furiously. Then I stopped. Argh. I was mad. Again.

Anger seems to be one of those things where no matter how hard you try, you can never win. It’s so aggravating, since I try to walk the Christian walk, talk the Christian talk, and yet I still flare up daily. Alex and Brett Harris had a fantastic post on their blog The Rebelution called Starting Small, Aiming Big. It talked about how we really need to have victory over the small things before we can go on and do big things for God.  I read it with that superior air of, “well I’m sure glad that Alex and Brett posted this for those people who are having a hard time with victory over small things. I just can’t think of anything I need to work on in the ‘small things’ category.” Well, I found one.

When I was thinking over the day, I realized that anger is really selfish. It’s about how the person isn’t saying things in a way that you like, how the person took your spot in line, how he cut you off in traffic, how you didn’t get as long at your friend’s house because of a delay, or as the case was last night for me, how I didn’t get as much sleep because I was helping my mom.

So the next paragraph should be about how we fix this problem, and how to make it “all better.” 😀 I don’t have the answer, but I can say what’s been helpful for me. Usually, I can tell that I’m mad. I know I’m being unreasonable, but I have to be willing to sacrifice for the other person. It’s OK if I’m 7 minutes late to youth group. After realizing that, I have to give it up to God. “Dear God, I’M REALLY MAD at Daniel for eating the last of the Valentines candy. But please help me to forgive and not hold a grudge.” And third, you have to take the divine strength, and forgive. That includes not ruminating over it in your head, or treating the person any differently than you normally would. Finally, if you violated Paul’s command in Ephesians 4:26, “In your anger, do not sin” you need to…………………………apologize. I hate that word. Apologizing is one of the hardest things for me to do.

You see, a lot of people can apologize as soon as they do something wrong, and think nothing of it for the rest of the day. I’m a very strong-willed person, with a very strong personality, and it huts like CRAZY to admit that I was actually in the wrong. That means I have to admit I’m not perfect. Argh. And gosh darn it, I’m not perfect. So an apology from me is a long struggle over wills, and the conscious decision to do what is right. Especially when it’s to my parents. It’s one of the small things that Alex and Brett talk about. It’s hard, it’s frustrating, but it’s worth it.

 Side note:

Alex and Brett wrote a book that I’m really really looking forward to. It’s called, “Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations.” I have pre-ordered a copy of it, and if you want to be challenged in your faith, I encourage you to do the same. It’ll be worth it. 😀 The book comes out April 15th, so order today!!!

The Book

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February 23, 2008. Lessons from God.

2 Comments

  1. Anna replied:

    You’re right about anger coming from being selfish. I also read recently that frustration with others is a result of having too-high expectations. That’s so true. Somehow I expect others to be perfect but want to cut myself so much slack.

    I love The Rebelution too and I’m looking forward to reading the book!

  2. Medusa replied:

    Every time I see the word “apologize,” Timbaland starts singing in my head (look it up, you’ll understand.) Every time you talk about doing hard things I get excited, mostly because you’re so passionate when you talk about it. I love your passion, Enigma.

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