How Running to God Saved Me a Lifetime of Anger - iBelieve Truth - June 12, 2024

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“Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” Proverbs 19:11

Stunned, I started to back out of a conversation that was quickly imploding. I was being exploded on, and the worst part about it was the temptation I felt to match volume for volume. I stopped dead in my verbal tracks and dropped my weapon. Words cause a powerful amount of pain. After the call ended, I let that pain and my hurt feelings fall at the feet of God.

I didn’t want to obey the verse above. I didn’t feel like ‘overlooking’ the explosive temper that had once again wounded me. It didn’t matter how old I got or how far away I lived, that tone could reach me through a phone line and instantly make me feel worthless and ashamed. I hate that feeling. 

The wisdom of God’s Word has done a work on me over the decades, and because of the Holy Spirit of God living in me, I’m still standing here to talk about it. Verbal abuse is an unfortunate part of my life, but it doesn’t get to define who I am. Instead of caving to the temptation to match wit, cuts, and screaming, I choose to listen to the prick in my heart and the conviction in my mind. Sometimes the only way to survive a hurricane is to get out of its path. 

Storms will threaten to blow us off the map at times in this life. Literal storms, like the natural disasters we are witnessing with extreme ferocity as of late, and metaphorically, as the attack on our mental health. I believe some people don’t have the capacity to control their tempers, and it whips them into a furious storm, leaving a path of permanent damage. Did you know any kind of yelling is verbal abuse? I didn’t. Because yelling has always been a part of my life. It flooded my life and threatened to consume it, dragging me down the same reactive path. 

Thankfully, Jesus saved me from getting sucked up in the storm. He was there when I was little, teaching me the basic instinct to get out of the way. When I was a teen, He motivated me to move when the volume increased. My immature solution was to run upstairs and slam my door. It’s crazy how learned behavior can overtake us and how damaging we can be before we are aware of what we’re doing wrong. The conviction of the Holy Spirit is so important. Without Him, we rage through life unaware of the path of wreckage we are leaving in our wake. I gave my life to Christ in college, and He began to carve out any remnant of anger I had learned.

I lost friends in my young life because, even when I was becoming aware of my anger, it took me a long time to recognize, understand, and repent of it. During the recent phone call that shredded me, I was able to stop dead in my tracks and drop my weapon. Without Jesus, I would have matched volume for volume. Instead, I get to leave that conversation behind.

“Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.”

Proverbs 19:11 reminds us that God equips us for every battle. If you have been or are being verbally abused …if someone yells at you …please seek help. It’s not normal, justified, or ever ok. If you are a yeller, and you stand grieved and convicted, run to God. He is already in it with you and will be there every step of the way as you ask for forgiveness from Him and the people you have yelled at. Perfection is never the goal, but awareness and repentance are. In this way, when we are actively trying not to do the damaging thing… we earn respect. Those are powerful words: sensible, control, earn, respect, overlook. They are hard lessons, but incredibly worthy habits. 

Let’s pray,

God, we are so sorry for yelling, at all, ever. Convict us when we are tempted to raise our voices and prompt us to ask for forgiveness immediately when we fail to resist. Father, give us the power to change and become the people You always planned for us to be. Heal us from the hurt of verbal abuse. Retract every single lie that was proclaimed over us and replace it with what is true. We love You and need You so much, God! In Jesus’ Name, we pray, Amen.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/master1305

Meg BucherMeg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ at megbucher.comShe is the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ,” and "Sent, Faith in Motion." Meg earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her writing passion. A contributing writer for Salem Web Network since 2016, Meg is now thrilled to be a part of the editorial team at Salem Web Network. Meg loves being involved in her community and local church, leads Bible study, and serves as a youth leader for teen girls.

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Originally published Wednesday, 12 June 2024.