Thursday, June 9, 2011

SOAP Devotion: Proverbs 12

angry female cartoon
Do you ever get angry? I mean really, explosively angry? It is such an out-of-control feeling! And far too often, others get hurt because we are out of control. 

This morning, I went back to bed after seeing my honey off to work...the little girl I babysit wasn't coming until 9:00, it was rainy and dreary and just perfect for sleeping in. I should have stayed up and had my devotion time...that helps so much when it comes to controlling be plugged in and connected with God's grace for the day. And when that sippy cup fell onto my toe - good grief, who knew a half-empty sippy cup could feel like a boulder when it hits your toe - I had a hard time not exploding.  Only a few weeks ago, I probably would have...but feeling better makes it easier to keep those emotions in check. Still, I knew I needed to get connected with God before the rest of the day happened...and happened badly.

Proverbs 12 is full of great advice. Diligence and laziness, righteousness and wickedness, the wise and the foolish. I can’t say I’m surprised at what God brought to my attention this morning…and since I am wise, I will love correction and follow this excellent advice regarding anger…

Today’s Reading is Proverbs 12.

ScriptureA fool's anger is known at once, but a cautious person slighted conceals his feelings. Proverbs 12:16

Observation: There are a good many angry fools in society today. Restraining one’s emotions requires maturity and wisdom, and a cautious person is one who can keep their emotions in check, even when slighted.

Application:  I’ve had issues with anger for many years. Thankfully, God has worked on that wrinkle in my character faithfully and steadily.  As I have matured, it has become easier to not get carried away by my emotions and blow up like a volcano whenever something makes me angry or when I feel that my “rights” have been violated. Isn’t that what we feel when we’re slighted by someone?

A fool immediately reacts to a situation, and lets himself get carried away by his feelings. Things get said that hurt others. Things sometimes get broken. And many times, others can get physically hurt.  They are only thinking of themselves and their own feelings, not at all of the other person...except maybe of hurting them in retaliation. It is selfish an immature. Ouch, God...that one really hurts.

A wise person is cautious…he considers possible responses to a situation before opening his mouth. He knows the power of words to hurt or to heal, and chooses to not use hurtful words.  He is cautious, because he knows that how he responds to the situation can either defuse it or ignite it further.

I have to admit that I’m not always wise. Some of that has been because of health issues…and while I’m not trying to use that as an excuse, it is difficult sometimes when you feel terrible or your hormones are all wacked out, to retain a grip on wisdom and prudence.  I look back at some of the things that have made me explode, and really…how ridiculous I was to allow such a little thing have so much control over ME. I am in charge of myself, not some fickle and childish emotion.

And when I see the influence my anger has had on my children, I just want to cry. I know God has forgiven me every time I blow it and repent…but I have a hard time forgiving myself. Especially when little arms have hugged my neck and precious voices say “I ‘give you, Mommy.” They shouldn’t have to say that…but I am glad that God uses even my sin to bring about Christlikeness in my children. They forgive so easily, without even a second thought…they have such sweet and tender hearts.

I long to be that quiet, peaceful, and humble-spirited wife and mother…but it just doesn’t seem to be in me some days. Ok, most days, to be honest.  I know that God created me to be that way, He just has a lot of hard rock to chisel away before it can be revealed, I guess.

Prayer: Father, forgive me again for allowing my emotions to rule my behavior. Help me to be wise and cautious…to always RESPOND instead of REACT to every situation. Help me to be a peacemaker in my home, and to model a quiet spirit.  Show me the root of my anger, and rip it out completely…I don’t want it in me! Help me, today, Lord, to be peaceful and gentle.


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