"My dear brothers (sisters), take note of this: 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]
What makes you lose your "Christ-like Cool"?
What type of situations or circumstances, heat you up, make you want to call any and everyone everything but the child of God, and boils your insides til' you want to explode like a volcano?
For me, I tend to be tempted to "lose all religion" (as people say) on the telephone, during my phone calls to banks, credit card providers, doctors, and companies that I may make my monthly bill payments to. Usually the issues that lead to me wanting to explode is that the company or person that I am dealing with has made some mistake that they are not willing to admit to; made a mistake they are so sorry they've made, but it is in fact the umpteenth time that they've made it; or the company has some policy that they are not willing to go against, and in my eyes, the policy is absolutely RIDICULOUS. Of course when the telephone dialogue is already rubbing me the wrong way, it does not help for the person on the other line to speak in a dialect that is unclear to me (not that I am opposed to a foreign dialect, it is the fact that it is UNCLEAR and I am English-speaking trying to translate through it). Or even better, the icing is put on the cake of my utter frustration and annoyance, if the representative accidentally disconnects me after they've already had me on the line for a ridiculous 45 minutes or MORE. WHEW!
That's the type of stuff that makes Teri want to lose her "Christ-like Cool"!
But the MAJOR PROBLEM is I CAN'T and it's not "okay" if I have (which I shamefully have)!
It is clear that God's will for us is to keep our "Christ-like Cool" and refrain from such types of explosions and actions. First off, let's be clear about what our "Christ-like Cool" should look like. According to God's Word, we are to, "clothe (ourselves) with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." [Colossians 3:12] We are to "put on love" [Colossians 3:14] even more over all of the other virtues. Daily God calls us to reflect qualities that are characteristic of Christ and how he behaved on this Earth, during the time he was a human like us. As Christians, we are to actually be what the name of "Christian" suggests: being "Christ-like", living and acting like Christ. Cussing a representative out over the phone, giving the guy the finger next to you on the road, or getting into a minor brawl over a parking spot you had your eye on and had wrongfully taken from you, really does NOT reflect the image of Christ and His nature.
Please know, however, that our Father in heaven is not oblivious and insensitive to the fact that we will get angry and have strong emotions raging inside. And worry not, because God WILL " ...pay back trouble to those who trouble you, and give relief to you who are troubled.. " [2 Thessalonians 1:6]. But his directions and admonitions to us on how WE are to handle these situations are clear in His Word. And although his directives to us may seem strange and in complete opposition to what our flesh is feeling, they are really meant to bring us peace and success in our lives. We need to trust in His ability to fight our battles, and do as He wishes for us to do. He loves us dearly, cares tremendously for us, and knows what is best for us as our creator.
"In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger." [Ephesians 4:26]
"But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." [Colossians 3:8]
"A man (woman) of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered."
"A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel." [Proverbs 15:18]
So the next time you are confronted with a situation that tempts you to lose all your "Christ-like Cool", remember our Lord's expectations of us and "do not sin in your anger". It is not always easy. And believe me, I know, because today's actual devotional to you is a result of me standing at the cliff of losing my cool and having to make a major decision. Instead of "losing it" over the phone, I took a deep breath, did my best to politely end the call (without yelling and cussing the innocent receptionist out), and RAN to this computer to start typing today's blog, in order to release that anger, productively and not sin. For me, prayer and writing help to release my volcanic emotions. What are your means of releasing without sinning, alongside prayer? If you have yet to use prayer, the next time you are in those circumstances, "Stop, Drop, & Pray!" FIRST...then do whatever other activity that brings you some peace to calm your inner storm.
The bottom-line is, we have to put our actions into check, especially while wearing the title of "Christian" in "this world". How will "the lost" be able to distinguish us from all the rest when we are behaving like all the rest in "this world"? We are clearly called not to be of "this world", and in choosing to "be friends of this world", it will only lead us to "become an enemy of God" [James 4: 4] Ouchy!
Come on Ladies...we must hold ourselves to a higher, more holier standard, and please our Lord, whom sacrificed His life for us!
HOLD ON to that "Christ-like Cool"!
"Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."
[1 Timothy 4:16]