Angry! Pay Attention and Probe for the Root

I am not angry as often or as passionately as when I was younger.  I finally realized that much of my anger was rooted in sensing that life was getting out of my control.  Once I began to live daily expecting God to be in control instead of me much of the pressure came off.

BUT — I still forget and try to run the universe, and I then use the intensity of anger to register my complaint and seek to whip others and my circumstances into the shape I desire.  I also encounter angry people.  It is challenging to find yourself under attack and to respond with the love of Christ.   It drives me to pray and seek God’s strengthening and wisdom by the Spirit so I can offer a genuine Christ like response.  I have to catch myself quickly and not just let my anger be fueled by the other person’s attack.

This word of God to Cain helps me to always remember.

Genesis 4:6-7 (ESV)  6  The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Anger is like a flashing red light on the car’s dashboard.

There is something wrong under the hood.  Putting black tape over the red light on the dash will not make the problem go away.

Much of my anger reveals my fear of life being out of my control.  In other words I don’t trust God with my life.

Remember this verse the next time you feel anger bubbling up.

Substitute your name for Cain’s.

Ask God to help me see what is crouching in the shadows of my life door.

Ask Him to give you the power of the Spirit to rule over IT… deal with the temptation/sin and the anger will subside.

My big mistake — thinking I need to just choke on, stifle, or go find a wall to hit — to put my focus on the anger.  Does not work.  Instead focus on the source, the trigger of the anger.

Do you struggle with anger? What are you learning?  Angry people cannot be life giving leaders.

 

 

Your Most Powerful Leadership Tool — Your Tongue!!!

Isaiah 6:5 (ESV)
5  And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

When Isaiah sees the holy God in a dramatic vision he equates his sin with his lips.  How often are my words — both the outer words we hear and the inner ones i speak in my heart — one of my weakest places of failure and sin.

James 3:5-8 makes it very clear — anything that is powerful can be a great source of giving life or an explosive way of destroying life.  I can sing out in worship of God but then contaminate myself and others when I use my same tongue to tear down a person bearing the image of God.  I think that is why if you speak in an attacking way to one of my children you are likely to get me in your face… they are my image bearers — to attack them is to attack me.  God takes the words we use about people he has created very seriously.

In James and Isaiah fire shows up — the tongue can be like a small fire that sets loose a destructive forest fire — but God can also touch and cleanse the unclean lips with his merciful fire.

When God is maturing a leader — he will never leave out the tongue.