temper

I have a temper. There I confessed…we can be done here, right?

Probably not.

I have been slapped for my hateful words.

I have manipulated others to get my own way when I’ve been angry.

I have been justifiably called a bitch when my temper flys.

I have incited angry words in others based on how I blew up at them.

I have punched concrete walls.

I’m pretty sure at some point I’ve broken something.

And at this point…some are thinking, ‘What is she? Jeckel and Hyde? She is always laughing!’

But I’ve not always been the person I am now. Everything above all happen during what I like to call BC. ‘Before Christ’ in my life.

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There are times when my anger sneaks in subtle ways. For instance, when Duke lost earlier tonight…there was a hand slap on the table with a loud ‘Ahhhh! Seriously?!?!?!?’ Then an immediate, ‘I am being ridiculous. Get it together, now.’

After Jesus flooded my soul…I quickly saw what effect my temper had on others. Not to mention how incredibly selfish and manipulative it was toward others. Nor did it allow me to listen to someone else and see their perspective.

Embarrassed…I was incredibly embarrassed when I saw how childish losing my temper really was.

Here is some wisdom I have gained from James:

‘Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.’ [James 1:19-20]

My tenancy to lose my temper is about me and my selfish wants. I am hurt. I am defensive. I’m not being heard. I’m not being treated fairly. See a trend there? I make it all about me. And it’s not about me…it’s about pointing to God and his Kingdom.

Obviously, I am not perfect AND I’m a redhead AND I’m half German…so I still struggle to keep a lid on my temper.

But I find when I can put the other person first (admittedly not always) and really listen, then I communicate better and see both sides. I set my desires aside, be quick to listen and slow to speak…and normally I can get my anger to dissolve.

No matter what I do though, basketball drives me crazy sometimes…oh, and injustice seriously pisses me off. That WILL get my blood boiling…no matter how much I try to listen! And somehow I think God’s with me on that one.

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lift

Arguments, confrontation and walls so thick that a wrecking ball wouldn’t be able to break it down…it drives me crazy when believers fight.

I get that family members have fights, especially when we are passionate people. But what does that show non-believers if we can’t get along? Would you want to be a part of a movement that shows hate toward each other?

That does not draw people to the heart of God…that propels them away with lightening speed, never to look back again. And we wonder why so many Americans have an ugly view of the church.

My heart breaks the most when fights are over petty things. If it is not a salvation issue, let it go. Seriously….so many times faith gets turned into religion, the church looks ugly and the message we are supposed to be delivering is completely invalidated.

God meant it to be beautiful, and then we get in the way. Silly humans. So much for being in His image.

Many times we get caught up in ourselves, and struggle to identify what are really areas of selfishness that we refuse to deal with. Our refusal of honestly revealing those areas are causing God’s message to suffer.

IMG_3840We are meant to deliver the message of God. We are meant to be a physical extension of his truth, love and compassion…yet we verbally beat each other up just to be ‘right.’ It’s not about you. It’s always about Him. His mission. His Kingdom. His holiness.

I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. [1 Timothy 2:8]

Yah…me, too, Paul…here’s to all believers lifting holy hands, and laying down the verbal machetes. Please, for the good of God’s mission…confront yourself, and lay down the machete.