Sometimes it’s easier to deal with something if you can pick it apart and look at it piece by piece. If you can put things in order and see how they progress from one point to another or how they fit together in the overall picture we can gain understanding and clarity.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the root cause of anger. The Bible tells us it comes from wanting something we don’t have or wanting something someone else has, and if we can’t have it we become angry. If we aren’t careful the desire to obtain can even lead to stealing or murder.
I listened to a man tell about his battle with anger recently and it opened my eyes to a few things. He told of meeting someone he really looked up to and he asked him his secret to life. He had a pen and paper handy, ready to jot down the advice and to his surprise the man leaned over and said, “Diligently eliminate hurry from your life” and backed away. That was it. That was the great insight into life he had discovered?
Think with me for a minute. When you’re in a hurry you become stressed, and once you’re stressed, anger is on its way. So if we eliminate hurry we eliminate stress and you guessed it anger will go too. Wow! This really struck me today and suddenly I understood anger in a new fresh way.
As I pondered these things and discussed them with a few friends I thought to myself “Why are we hurried?” I came up with a few reasons. There are the obvious things such as trying to cram too much into our day and not allowing for interruptions or delays. Another reason is we are trying to keep up with the world around us that’s moving faster and faster by the minute. Then I thought “What is the real reason?” The answer is pride. Pride is underneath it all; because we think we are the only ones that can do what we’re doing appropriately or maybe even at all. I mean without me it probably won’t get done!
The man went on to share a few things he did in order to overcome his hurried lifestyle. Of course this isn’t meant to be a how-to but this is just some things he tried. He drove only in the right hand lane for a full two years. He said it just about killed him to not pass anyone, but it forced him to slow down a little while he was driving. Another change he made was his shopping habits. He would pick the longest checkout line on purpose. This gave him time to chat with others while waiting in line and gave him an opportunity to just listen and be involved with people. You see when you live a rushed lifestyle you don’t take time for others which is exactly what God calls us to do.
Jesus told us the solution to this problem is meekness. He invites us to come to him for rest when we are weary and weighed down. He tells us to take his yoke upon us and learn of him “because I am meek and lowly in heart.” Right there’s the answer we’re all looking for in life. If pride is the source of our troubles then meekness is the answer.
Pride says, “I’m very important and needed, so get out of my way and let me by.” Meekness says, “You go ahead; I can wait for you.” You see pride thinks it can, but meekness knows without Christ it doesn’t stand a chance. Pride is always going to vaunt itself, and meekness will always think of others first. Pride is in a tizzy because things don’t go its way, but meekness knows God is in charge; so meekness rests on the way.
So, as we’re driving along and start to feel a little frustration setting in what do you do? Well, you’re simply reminded that without Christ you are doomed to failure. Feeling hurried is a normal human feeling, but the question is are you going to allow it to push you on to stress and anger? You see the trick is to recognize the frustration, or hurried feeling, as a warning light. When the light comes on you back off of the accelerator and think “Meek and lowly” is the answer. Christ in me is meek and lowly, he directs my steps, and I’m looking to him to bear my burdens and give me rest.
Written by Louie