I have had a quick temper my whole life. I have blamed it on my genes, “I am a hot-blooded Italian.” I have called it by other names: irritation, impatience. I have justified it, “If they would just do their job, I would not get angry.”
Recently I heard a wonderful Christian woman, EG speak about rooting out sin. She passed out a list of the 7 deadly sins and the corresponding 7 virtues that can be used to combat them. It has also had 14 “little sins” and their 14 corresponding “little virtues”. I had never seen this list before. I knew it was gold the moment I set my eyes on it. I am all for going paperless, but this one is definitely a keeper.
My eyes immediately gravitated to Patience. About four months ago, God had called me to aggressively seek to grow in Patience. The sin associated with it is Anger. Darn it all.
I then saw one of my other favorite “little sins”, gossip and complaining. That one was associated with Envy. But somehow I did not think that was the root in this particular situation.
Nevertheless, I heard God say to me, “you need to stop gossiping and complaining. There are things that I want to do in you, through you, and I cannot do them if you continue to gossip and complain.” Darn it all.
Quickly I realized that the root of my gossip and complaining really is anger. I only gossip & complain when I am angry at someone or a situation. Darn it all. Darn it all.
I am much improved in this area. I used to go into rages. I have not gone into a rage in a good 15 years. I used to yell at my students all day. My kids say that I rarely yell at them. My three-year journey to Seek Peace and Pursue It, really helped quiet me on the inside.
But I realized something troubling. At the root, deep down, the anger is still there.
It is precisely that deep seeded root that He wants to pull out.
That is code for, “this one is really, really, really going to be painful”. The deeper the root, the more it hurts to pull it out.
But here’s the thing. I recently heard a woman who is in her 60s say that she used to be angry all the time when she was younger. Now it is rare that ANYTHING rattles her.
I want to be like that.
To get there, I have to walk this path. So, here goes nothing…I’m diving in.
The River is rushing, do you see it? The River is roaring, do you hear it? Do not be afraid. Do not stay on the sidelines. Do not fear drowning. He will guide you down that River. He will embrace you with His love, His mercy, and His grace. The River is rushing, do you see it? The River is roaring, do you hear it? Jump on in.