I have a temper.
My father had a temper, so when mine comes out, I know where I got it. About 10 years ago I asked my Dad to use his angry voice to see if it still worked. That low, guttural roar sent chills up my 30 year old spine. Thankfully I haven’t heard that voice in decades outside of my curious request, but that’s the power of anger, it leaves a mark.
There’s a very specific trigger for my temper. It’s not when I don’t get my way. It’s not when someone wrongs me. It’s not when someone hurts me. It’s when someone wrongs someone I love. It’s when someone I love does something wrong. If I care, I am quick to anger. Drop of a hat, flip of a switch, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, raw, pure, anger.
There’s a time and place for anger in life, but I’ve learned over the years that when I get angry, I am usually wrong. Anger hasn’t accomplished a thing for me in life other than scaring people I care about, and driving away others who might seek my council for fear of an angry response. For me, it just does not work.
I got some news early this morning and I snapped. My already skyrocketing blood pressure was boiling over. Someone I love did something wrong. Someone I love was wronged. Where the me of only a year ago would have changed out of his Voltron pajamas, jumped into his truck and sought seething recompense…
Instead I prayed for the crystal clarity of a command from God. I prayed for guidance.
I sat and prayed in the darkness and while I wasn’t receiving an immediate response to my prayer, my anger slowly waned. My heart slowed. The cortisol levels started to drop. I was still angry, but my previous urge to jump in the truck and bring the justice only a pissed off Lithuanian can deliver at 5am faded.
There’s a bible next to my bed. I picked it up, and without looking, flipped to a page. Chronicles 6:21. I began to read. Ok… ok…. ok…. “when You hear, forgive.”
Boom. The crystal clarity of a command from God. Respond with love, respond with forgiveness, do not respond with anger. I’m still not sure what the overall outcome of this situation will be (I hope you forgive my vagueness at the moment)… but I know my place now.