When You Can’t Take It Anymore

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. – James 1:19-20.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like…. – Galatians 5:19-21a.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23a.

Have you ever had someone push all of your buttons, emotional buttons that is and it resulted in your saying something or doing something you later regretted? It has happened to many of us including recently a 30-year-old woman in Northam, Australia. Her boyfriend insisted on playing the Elvis Presley song, “Burning Love,” over and over again. The woman attacked him, stabbing him repeatedly in the back, shoulder and thigh with a pair of scissors. According to police the injuries, thankfully, were described as “non-life threatening.” The woman is facing charges in court from the attack.

Will Rogers once said, “people who fly into a rage seldom make a good landing.” I think we can see that the Australian woman made a poor landing. What do you do when someone is pushing all of your buttons? What do you do when someone is driving you up the wall and over? Do you lash out in anger when you can’t take it anymore?

If you wait to deal with your lack of patience and anger issues until it confronts you it is so much harder to hold back from doing the wrong thing. However, there are some things you can do. You can immediately in your mind, go to the Lord in prayer. “Lord help me!” is always a good one. Another thing you can do is to repeat a verse of Scripture repeatedly until you are calm, and the crisis has passed. A good verse is Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Other times you may be able to do something yourself like walking away from the situation, refusing to respond verbally, or redirecting the conversation, or activity. Turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:39) is still in the Bible along with going the extra mile (Matthew 5:41).

The very best way to handle frustrating, anger provoking situations is to be prepared for them far in advance. How do you do that? By walking with God on a daily basis, reading His Word, praying, going to church, and serving Him. Memorize those verses of Scripture dealing with anger and imbed them in your heart. As you walk with God, you will give Him an opportunity to develop in you the fruit of the Spirit, which are, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” If any of the fruit of the Spirit is within you, it will be very hard for anyone to provoke you into an “outburst of wrath.”

(How to handle it when someone pushes all of the wrong emotional buttons.)

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