This post was written by Blake Bergstrom, a staff member at my friend Pete Wilson’s church; Cross Point. I like the openness he has displayed in this post… Thanks Blake for having the courage to share this way.
There is an old friend of mine that I have known most of my life named, “Anger!” I have spent a lot of time under his influence. My house growing up had him around most days and he really changed the atmosphere of my life. I brought him into most relationships, my jobs, and most tragically..into my marriage! He just about destroyed my marriage and the effects of his presence still have lasting effects. I allowed him to control me. My tongue was under his command and because of that…my wife’s countenance was turned into fear, rejection, and insecurity. In the early years of my marriage, I allowed my house to become the very thing I hated about the house I grew up in.
However, one day, everything changed!
I was in mid-sentence, yelling at my precious wife Ally, about nothing I am sure, and I saw in her eyes what I was doing to her. I saw the same thing that I remember feeling as a young man. It was like God just said, “why are you doing that to her.” My wife prayed over me that day and asked that “my old friend” would leave my “house – my physical dwelling place”. I am no longer controlled by him and I can honestly tell you that I have never yelled at my wife since. More importantly, my children have never seen me yell. It was only because of Christ’s power that I was able to be set free from such a horrible pattern of communication that I was so good at. However, I was no longer happy with allowing myself to be controlled by my flesh, but instead I was going to choose to allow my life to become a place of PEACE instead of WAR.
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly…A heart at peace gives life to the body.
My prayer for you is that you would just stop!! Don’t yell at your loved ones, or anyone for that matter, EVER…for ANYTHING or any REASON. There is never a time when its okay…EVER. So, I would like to challenge you to “live at peace and give life to your body”.
Today, when I see someone yelling, berating, hot-tempered, and out-of-control, I actually feel sorry for them. I’m no longer intimidated but strangely empowered. I wish they could see how foolish they look when they are trying to make others feel foolish. I wish they could feel the devastation of what they are causing to the people around them…especially when it is a parent doing that to their child. So, today that theme came up several times in Chapter 14 of Proverbs and I was reminded of how glad I am that I’ve been delivered from being a “hotheaded and reckless” man. It is so true that a “quick tempered man does foolish things.”
Are you “old friends” with anger? Do you allow him to control you way to often? What are you going to do to find freedom from anger?
What did you see from the passage today?