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Consider these three steps before getting angry.
Friday, November 8, 2019 by Janent Perez Eckles

Road rage is on the rise. It’s heating up. And it’s fanning the flame of stress. Even when car keys are put away, the tension remains.

This might be the reason. Studies show that irate drivers have a reason for that behavior. It has nothing to do with the highway, but everything to do with the heart.

Way before drivers sit behind the wheel, stress, tension, discouragement and fear have already settled way deep inside. And when someone cuts them off on the road, Look out! All those negative emotions come tumbling out. The result? Murmuring under the breath. Shooting such dirty looks so hard they cracked the windshield. And oops, our kids better not see that gesture. They’re learning first-hand how anger is displayed.

And what does anger do? It feeds ulcers and brings on headaches that ruin our day. The same thing happens when on the road of life. Glitches pushes us into the ditch of unhappiness and we’re stuck in the mud of discontentment.

Let’s start over. Before beginning the trip through the events of the day, consider these three stop signs:

Stop sign No. 1. Love the unlovable.

Huh? Lord, do you see those crazy drivers on the road? And those who wronged us so deeply? Love them? Don’t think so.

Hard? No, it’s not hard. It’s impossible to love those who cut you off, make illegal, dangerous turns and put you and your family in danger. And how about others who inflict emotional wounds? We want to hang them, not love them.

God hears that complaint. And with patience only He has, He still says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?” (Matthew 5:44 and 46).

Recently, a man was interviewed after his imprisonment and torture because of His Christian beliefs. As he was beaten, he had a prayer, “Lord, I don’t want to be in two prisons—this one and the prison of anger and resentment. Help me to love those who are torturing me.”

Eventually, as he walked out of that prison, wounded and broken, he carried the power of forgiveness that restored him, healed his wounds and made him strong enough to carry on with his ministry.

Stop Sign No. 2. The power of our words.

Did you ever hear the boomerang power of our words? The curses we speak toward others come right back to us with tension into our own muscles. Ranting about other’s mistakes fuel our own stress. Rage toward others comes back to us with added negativity. And with an angry attitude out of control, we bring peace to a screeching halt.

“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control” (Proverbs 25:38).

“Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

In self-control, there’s power. In self-restraint, there’s strength and there’s health because… “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:24).

Choosing to live healthier, we embrace a different approach. When others don’t deserve, we dish out kindness. When others don’t care, we still do. And when others bring us down, we stand on the power of God.

Stop sign No. 3. Humility brings freedom.

Blushing a bit, I confess. Foolishly thinking I possess more wisdom and have more experience; I’ve elbowed my way in the crowd and declared my thoughts. Happy the day when God spoke to me and said, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

We want to do that, we really do. We desire to be humble, honorable. But how can someone who is so wrong, so foolish, so outrageous in their actions be better than ourselves?

Thinking they’re not, we prepare our attack, stand in position, make our point. Speak our mind and assert our position.

But that’s when God asserts His own position, calling us to have a gentle spirit, a humble attitude and loving in our response.

Considering others better than ourselves requires humility in our approach, wisdom for our thoughts, and obedience to God’s commandments. In Matthew 22 36, Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:36-39).

Loving others no matter what isn’t a sign of weakness. Rather, it’s a display of a valiant, courageous warrior holding the flag of triumphant victory.

Who has wronged you today and needs your loving attitude?

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for showing me a way out of angry thoughts. I praise for the path you showed me to a calmer life and a loving approach to others. In Jesus name.

Who has wronged you today and needs your loving attitude?

Janet


Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

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