My car clock ticked off two unacceptable minutes as I stared at the drive-thru menu.
Since my hour-long commute had come in under an hour, I had time to treat myself to breakfast.
The little speaker box stayed silent. With a huff, I put my car into gear and approached the window, uninvited. The lights were on and workers scurried about with intent, but not one of them acknowledged my presence, or my desire for food and coffee. After a few more minutes—and maybe after wildly waving my arms—I mumbled, and pulled away. On the short drive to the office, Anger convinced me to write a public review, contact the corporate headquarters, and post my disappointment in a quirpy Facebook post.
Like a big bully, Anger tries to boss us around. He shoves us into feeling rejected. He calls us names until we are offended. He provokes us to agree with him and to seek revenge, and then some. Anger is relentless and persuasive; he begs us to respond with urgency before we can acquire more information, or fully understand the whole situation. We’ve all watched, in horror, as others cannon-ball off the high dive into anger as if it were a swimming pool on a July day.
People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.~Proverbs 14:29 NLT
I cornered several of my co-workers before our work day began to share my rage, and some pretty ugly opinions of the chain restaurant’s customer service. One friend widened her eyes and ducked her chin. After clearing her throat twice and allowing a small giggle to escape, she informed me Wendy’s, at that time, did not even serve breakfast.
You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.~James 1:19 NLT
All of my drama and stress that morning could have been avoided if I would have recognized Anger and kept him away from the entire situation. Then maybe not everyone I worked with would have had a front seat for my cannonball of foolishness.
Let’s become slower in getting angry—slower in becoming frustrated with a business employee, or our pastor, or a friend, family member, or coworker, based only on the details we know. It’s safe to assume we lack the key information to make a true and fair opinion in the moment: key information, like the menu offerings, or hours of the local Wendy’s drive-through.
What are some ways the bully of Anger provokes you?
Dear Father God, I never know the whole story, and I apologize for the times I act like I do. You alone know all. I commit to come to You, Lord, before Anger has a chance to do its damage. Please help me to listen more, and to slow down my reactions when I am frustrated, or challenged, and to keep my distance from Anger, and instead turn to You.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2021: Reduce Speed Ahead: Cynthia Mendenhall: All Rights Reserved