Loving God. Loving our neighbor.

Those Short-Fused Irritability Days

Scotty Smith

Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. Eccl. 7:9 (ESV)

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. Prov. 14:9 (ESV)

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. James 1:19-20 (NLT)

Heavenly Father, thank you for using heart-convicting images when confronting us with our less than gracious attitudes. I cringe at the thought of being a fool whose “bosom” provides lodging and hospitality for anger; and I take no pleasure in the notion of “exalting folly” by my “hasty temper.” Forgive me and may the lush fruit of your Spirit trump the spoiled fruit of my flesh. So in what contexts am I aware of being short-fused?

When I’m in my car and in a hurry. Father, forgive me for committing “heart-homicide” toward slow driving, smart-phone-talking, rubbernecking drivers. I get irritated, and think and say things that neither honor you, nor get me to my destination sooner. I can either leave earlier, or trust that you are sovereign, or both.

When pundits and politicians engage in mean-spirited diatribe rather than solution-seeking dialogue; when the public forum becomes a place for toxic rancor rather than mutual respect. Father, convict me quickly when I mirror these graceless ways, even when critiquing them.

When promised delivery times and appointment aren’t kept; flights are delayed and deadlines are missed. It’s one thing to be appropriately disappointed, but another to vex, seethe, and “cop” a bad attitude. Father, by your grace, slay the beast of the idol of control that rears its ugly head in my heart too often.

When people make choices that inconvenience me or complicate my life. Father, just writing these things out convicts me about my self-centeredness. I’ve got a way-bigger gospel than I’ve been drawing upon and demonstrating. Forgive me. Thank you for the convicting work of your Spirit, and the consoling and transforming power of your grace. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ kind and loving name.