“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20 (NIV)
I’m not who I used to be.
I grew up with an Italian Papa. When we would disagree, it was a sight to behold. Our hands moved. Our tones increased. Often, I would stomp away from the situation, declaring that I was never speaking to him “for the rest of my life”. But anger wasn’t comfortable in our home and usually, within a minute or two, we would make-up and become best friends again. This was how we communicated and our words were always seasoned with love.
But love words were not in the forefront of my mind when I stepped into the real world.
Oh, most of the time, I was a happy camper; yet, anger tended to simmer under the surface. I could fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. I became easily defensive. I looked at the glass half-empty.
The boulder on my shoulder was weighing me down.
I was insecure in myself. My talents, My abilities. My looks. My worth. My path in the world.
When I got married, my hot head moved in with us. My husband, a laid back guy, even had a breaking point and I pushed it often. One memory lingers above the rest. We were living in our tiny apartment, married less than a year. We argued over something I can’t recall now and I went to bed. No, I couldn’t sleep and yes, “that verse” kept playing in my head. You know the one:
“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26b (NIV)
Too late for that.
But the next morning, when I heard the door close and my husband leave for work, something amazing happened.
Grace poured over me like rain.
“A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4 (NIV)
I loved this man. I didn’t want us to live this way. I ran out the door in my jammies and bare feet and tapped on the car window. “Let’s talk”, I pleaded and he smiled. It was a turning point in our marriage, one that we try to maintain even now.
Love chooses to never crush the spirit of another soul.
Dear one, perhaps you are struggling with a hot head too. It’s hard. Life gets messy and we get angry. I can only speak from my experience, but anger has never made me happier or better. Wait. Let me rephrase that. Anger may have felt good in the temporary, but regret that lingers never does.
These days, I choose Love instead.
My prayer is that you will too.
I’m a recovering hot head. Redeemed. Free. Loved. And in His eyes, always Enough.
Spread your joy,