Cow Pies

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So many tragedies have come out of do­mes­tic violence. Gen­er­ally, women are the tar­gets al­though it is not just men who lash out at oth­ers. As I open this can of worms, I re­al­ize one short ar­ti­cle writ­ten about anger and its ef­fects may not change our life but if we can get the ball rolling and be­gin to be open to God’s heal­ing and ba­sic life prin­ci­ples of how we can live in peace, that is a start. Over the years, I’ve been mind­ful to keep work­ing on my at­ti­tude when things get heated up in our home. Of­ten times, our flesh likes to rear its ugly head and spout off or shout back. Ac­cord­ing to the In­sti­tute in Ba­sic Life Prin­ci­ples, “anger is the num­ber one cause of mar­riage break-ups, abused chil­dren, and violence in the home, school, and work­place. It is the com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor among ju­ve­nile delin­quents and the rea­son that so many youth are run­ning away from home. It is (also) a ma­jor cause of health prob­lems and lack of pro­duc­tiv­ity in the work­place.” If we are fol­low­ers of Christ, we are not im­mune to fits of wrath and out­bursts of anger. How do we con­duct our­selves when no one is watch­ing? Do we tear a strip off our chil­dren or spouse when some­thing doesn’t go quite the way we planned? How do we in­ter­act with peo­ple in the ser­vice in­dus­try who don’t “serve” us the way we ex­pect? Or what about the way we treat fel­low broth­ers and sis­ters who are part of the Body of Christ? Do we throw our weight around, de­mand­ing our way and try to con­trol cer­tain sit­u­a­tions? James re­minds us of how we are to con­duct our lives ev­ery day. “My dear broth­ers and sis­ters, take note of this: Ev­ery­one should be quick to lis­ten, slow to speak and slow to be­come an­gry.” Bill Gothard sug­gests there are cer­tain sit­u­a­tions that of­ten lead us into bit­ter­ness, where we typ­i­cally lash out in wrath, re­venge, or other hurt­ful re­sponses. Th­ese sit­u­a­tions are the pain of re­jec­tion, the re­ac­tion to un­change­able fea­tures of our lives, the grief of fa­voritism, and the an­guish of false ac­cu­sa­tions. Be­sides the painful ex­pe­ri­ences that speak into our men­tal health, we can al­low sin to foster a spirit of anger within us. Th­ese at­ti­tudes and ac­tions can in­clude pride, per­sonal faults, gen­er­al­iza­tions, expectations, envy and tak­ing up of­fenses. I’m re­minded of the verse found in James 3:6 which says “For where you have envy and self­ish am­bi­tion, there you find dis­or­der and ev­ery evil prac­tice.” The Word of God is filled with time­less prin­ci­ples that, when ap­plied to our lives, will bring free­dom from th­ese bondages that are de­signed to ruin lives. Proverbs 26:20 says “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whis­perer, quar­rel­ing ceases.” I have been making a pur­pose­ful at­tempt to be more peace­ful in my par­ent­ing and mar­riage re­la­tion­ship. There was a time when I would let my flesh take hold and it was real easy to talk louder and be de­mand­ing. How­ever, as I’ve prac­ticed self-con­trol and keep my anger in check, I have wit­nessed how a soft an­swer and a gen­tle touch can change the en­tire at­mos­phere in our home. It is amaz­ing what hap­pens when I just lower my voice. It is so easy to al­low our flesh to kick in and of­fer de­mands at the drop of a hat; how­ever, we must be aware that words spo­ken in anger hurt to the depths of the heart. Hurt­ful words in­flu­ence the at­mos­phere and soon a heated ex­change be­gins. If it’s not nipped in the bud, it can lead to a myr­iad of abuse. “Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.” What a funny vis­ual that gets the point across. Kick­ing a pile of ma­nure on a hot day will not bring about the de­sired re­sults we are want­ing to achieve just as us­ing anger as a way to lash out, ma­nip­u­late and hurt oth­ers does not fix what is hap­pen­ing on the in­side. A good place to start is by ask­ing Holy Spirit to teach you how to hold your tongue and to ask Him to be­gin heal­ing the hurts that are on the in­side. If you are in­ter­ested in learn­ing more about learn­ing to re­solve anger, see the web­sitewww.iblp.org. “Slow­ness to anger makes for deep un­der­stand­ing; quick-tem­pered per­son stock­piles stu­pid­ity.” Scrip­ture ref­er­ences: Proverbs 14:29, James 1:19, Proverbs 14:17, Proverbs 18:21, Ro­mans 2:8

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