PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Who has ever had a knee jerk reaction?
I’m pretty sure if you’re reading, 99% of you are raising your hand (or at least nodding in agreement).
The other 1% may have not have had enough coffee yet to understand the question.
Read it again and then, I’m sure you’ll join in with the rest of us.
The thing about a knee jerk reaction is that once we calm down, the most common side effect is that we end up feeling stupid.
Don’t you just hate that feeling?
Ecclesiastes 7:9 CSB says, “Don’t let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools.”
When I read that, I wonder if God ordained those words with me in mind…
Because I need to remind myself of this often.
Especially when I am interrupted.
That’s usually my trigger for a knee jerk reaction, and most especially when I’m interrupted while I’m writing or working.
Those reactions are not among my finer moments, as my family would agree.
Here’s the thing though—when anger rushes in, we have the option of self-control.
It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Yet, despite so many self-professed control freaks, we don’t often utilize self-control when it comes to our own tempers.
Why is that?
Could it be that our pride wants us to be justified in our anger?
But is it worth it?
Certainly not at the expense of relationships.
One method to choose self-control over anger is to adopt the attitude of “I love this person than I love being right.”
I’m far from perfect at it, but from the times I’ve practiced it, it helps diffuse my temper.
And usually, when I calm down, I may discover that I’m not as right as I initially thought I was.
(Y’all, my husband is going to hold this admission over my head for the rest of our lives.)
When we follow Jesus’ command to love others, enemies too, there isn’t room for knee jerk, pride-rooted anger.
There’s a time and a place to be angry.
But anger without self-control is sin.
Today, as you pray, thank the Holy Spirit for the gift of self-control.
Ask Him to manifest His fruit in your life so that when you’re tempted to have an angry, knee jerk reaction, you can choose to love first and maintain your self-control.