“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check.”
Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? I have. My husband I were recently getting ready to host a baby shower for some dear friends of ours who are adopting a baby girl and while preparations started out going well, things quickly fell apart.
While my husband was out of town for work my Mom came to stay with me for a few days. She was more than happy to watch my youngest son so I could run to a few stores to gather the necessary shower items after dropping my middle son off at pre-school. The day was going great…initially…
After having to run to an extra store to complete the balloon bouquets as the first store was out of the right colors, I arrived home. My mom carefully walked the balloons inside while I distracted my little guy. No sooner was she down the stairs than one popped, offsetting the color balance, which clearly I couldn’t have. I headed back to the store for another balloon before picking my middle son up from pre-school. Problem solved.
Later that afternoon I decided I should get the present wrapped in either the bag or wrapping paper that I was certain would be just perfect. Turns out that the bag was too small and the wrapping paper too short. Okay. No problem. I knew that after my husband flew in that night and we finished small group Bible study I could stop by a store and get the necessary wrap. Still good.
A few minutes later my five year old walked in from playing outside and asked if he could have a treat. I told him that I was sorry, but I honestly didn’t think we had any kind treat in the house. When he asked again, I continued to clean the basement as I told him that if he could find something he could have it. Dumbest. Statement. Ever.
As I walked up the stairs moments later, he yelled out, “Oh good! I found some chocolate!” “Some chocolate?” I said. “Where did you find chocolate?” I mean seriously, if there was chocolate in the house I would know about it! While the final words left my mouth, there on the counter I saw the extra fancy candy bar that I had purchased for a shower game prize (and tucked away in the top of the baking cupboard) torn open on the counter. The box had been ripped multiple ways and the lovely foil paper shredded. Meanwhile my son stood there with two squares of fancy chocolate in his dirty little mitts. Stunned, I put my hands on my face not sure what I should do.
In that instant I realized that I had a choice. I could either unleash my frustration from the day on my precious little guy who was only doing what I had told him he could, or I could take a tip from Aaron Rodgers (a little shout out to all my fellow Green Bay Packer fans), and simply relax. Choosing the latter option, I decided to break a piece of oh so fancy gooey caramel filled chocolate off for myself and join my son in having a treat. After all, I had to go back to the store later that night anyways. Problem solved…again.
I wish I could say that every time things don’t go my way I choose to simply relax and realize that in the grand scheme of things they just don’t matter all that much, but that just wouldn’t be true. There have been many times that I have let my frustration or anger get the better of me. In those times I have had to apologize to my husband and/or sons after the fact for being unnecessarily short or sharp with them.
How about you? What do you do when things just don’t go your way? Or when everything seems to go wrong? Do you give way to your frustration and anger, or are you able to see things for what they are and take them in stride?
The Bible is packed full of verses like Proverbs 29:11 which tells us, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check.” Consider the following:
Proverbs 14:29 “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.”
Proverbs 16:32 “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.”
Ephesians 4:26-27 “BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.”
James 1:19-20 “…But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”
The next time you are about to give full vent to your anger, take a deep breath, say a prayer, and choose to relax. Without a doubt, God will honor your decision. How will holding your frustration or anger in check positively impact not only you, but those closest to you?