For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.~James 1:20 ESV
“Cheese Guy” is not his name. Yet to me, and now to you, he shall forever be known.
I’m in a checkout line. My final destination is still a few minutes away. I’m waiting as the couple ahead of me squabble with the clerk. As I do, I am very aware and slightly annoyed that I am already late. Their disagreement is doing my schedule no favors. Seconds later, the man throws a flyer at the cashier.
“Can you read? What does that say?” He commands.
“Sir, the discount is on this brand of cheese. The sale doesn’t apply to the brand you chose,” the attendant says softly.
Unmoved by facts, red-faced, and veins popping, he screams, “You can’t read! Let me speak to a manager.”
My eyes catch the attention of the customer behind me. All this emotion is over—cheese? Really? We exchange an entire conversation of disbelief through glances. This bully needed to be confronted by someone without a job to lose. I am about to speak to him when a manager approached from the side to assist “Cheese Guy” with his deep wound over his non-discounted dairy purchase.
One thought surfaces in my mind: Cheese Guy’s reaction has to be about more than cheese…
How many times have we—myself included—raised a fuss over things unrelated to our real wounds? Like “Cheese Guy,” do we assign anger unfairly, defining ourselves in moments we later regret? Are the real wounds too hard to face, examine, and walk through?~Shanda Neighbors, Contributing Author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships
How many times have we—myself included—raised a fuss over things unrelated to our real wounds? Like “Cheese Guy,” do we assign anger unfairly, defining ourselves in moments we later regret? Are the real wounds too hard to face, examine, and walkthrough?God has moved me forward—inches at a time. I’ve fought. Prayed. Cried. Resisted, and at times excused my angry behavior. #VineWords #ShandaNeighbors #CheeseGuy Click To Tweet
I think of my own journey through anger. It’s been slow. God has moved me forward—inches at a time. I’ve fought. Prayed. Cried. Resisted, and at times excused my angry behavior. I’d love to say it’s a been quick process. I would welcome instant healing. Instead, I’ve repented more times than I can number. Anger has at times loomed in my life like an invincible giant. But with God, I’m making progress.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.~Galatians 5:22-23a
We all have our personal Goliaths to face. Nothing has caused me to confront my temper like marriage, parenting, and homeschooling my children. These areas have quickly revealed the major cause of my anger is a lack of patience.
I confess. I’m no beacon of calm. Had “Cheese Guy” continued his attack, he’d be able to testify that I have the same fault to overcome. I’m deeply grateful God is faithful to make me better. I am a work in progress, but He is committed to making me more like His Son and I am committed to trusting Him. He wants to do the same for you, friend. I pray that whatever battle you are working to overcome, you will know that God’s power within you can help you to overcome it. Nothing is impossible with God. As we lean on Him, He delivers us through it all.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”~John 14:6
Live courageously. Hiding a wound is no substitute for healing it. Until we humble ourselves and allow the mercy and grace of God to invade our total brokenness, we will live in bondage to the flaw even if we manage to disguise it. True righteousness comes from Christ alone—so lean into Him. Please know God can work victory in a yielded heart. Don’t be discouraged if you’re “not there yet.” Be encouraged that Jesus Christ is able. He is The Way. He knows how to get you to His good plans, and how to lead you to the green pastures He has for you.
What has God delivered you from?
Lord Jesus, thank You that You are The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Help me to follow wherever You lead me, exposing every weakness to Your grace. Help me to live life so abundantly, joy-filled, and free, that these Spirit traits are contagious to those around me. Whether giants of the body, mind, or heart I thank You for the ability to save me to the uttermost and deliver me from all.
Copyright 2021: “Cheese Guy”: Shanda Neighbors: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Shanda Neighbors’ island upbringing has afforded her the ability to pardon Eve.
She too enjoys gardening and picking produce. Her husband eats all she offers him. No questions. She enjoys serving large crowds, but she’s a natural overfeeder. She will supply too much nourishment no matter the crowd size. Food is her love language.
Shanda was born and raised in the Bahamas. This has determined both her internal clock and thermostat. She struggles with being on time and is not trusted to set the temperature anywhere. You can always find her outdoors…over 60s and sunny…probably in a jacket. Anyone who invites her to go skiing hates her. Period.
Shanda is a miraculous work in progress. She credits her family with helping that work along. Chief among them is her husband who has demonstrated the power of love and patience. Outside of Jesus, she has had no greater advocate than her beef-and-potatoes husband. Shanda has two daughters who are her treasures.
Shanda is passionate about truth and the reputation of God. This translates into her speaking and writing. Her goal is to live amazed by the love, glory, power, and goodness of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to share His story with as many people as possible.
Shanda is a devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, and a contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing). She is a devotion speaker at Word Weavers Piedmont-Triad, NC, and she is available for speaking engagements. Her long-term goal is to enter the media industry.
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