Emotions have a name. Mine was anger, but I called it being emotionally charged. Huh?!? Where did that come from? I said it was a stressful conversation and I couldn’t think clearly and blurted out the wrong thing. It’s true, but it doesn’t go far enough. How neatly I try to justify my sin, even when I know the result of being “emotionally charged” has been that I have said what I ought not to say. Sin. Lack of self-control. Disrespect. Speaking harshly. In your face. I need to call it what it is: anger. And anger is usually rooted in self-righteousness. Yuck.
“The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” James 1:20. “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless” James 1:26. Ouch! Rob told me I should not feel I have to respond immediately to the other person (it wasn’t him), but should take time to think about what I am going to say. Excellent, biblical advice, and he said it so gently! “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds and be silent. Offer right sacrifices and put your trust in the Lord” Psalm 4:4-5.
“Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. The wise heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. . . .The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” Proverbs 16:20-21; 23-14. “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding” Proverbs 17:27. “A hot tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention” Proverbs 15:18. “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin” Proverbs 13:3. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” Proverbs 11:2.
Oh, Father, please forgive me for being angry and harsh. May I be ruled by You, and not by my emotions. Help me to have self-control when I am tempted to let them do the thinking for me. Help me to trust You to be at work, and not try to take things into my own hands. Still my lips until I can answer calmly and graciously, words of love and truth. I lack wisdom, but You give it to those who ask for it. Thank You for dying for my sin so I can be forgiven. Thank You that when Jesus comes back, I will see Him as He is, and I will be changed in a moment into His likeness. No more sin, no more struggle. I love you, Lord!
(I went and apologized to the other person, so we’re fine.)