Everyone has things about themselves that they’d rather not draw attention to or admit. Everyone. Maybe it’s a bad habit you only do behind closed doors, a regret you have from years past, or a personality trait that’s always been a part of you. You’re not alone. We all have something & we’re carrying them around with us. We pack them away in metaphorical suitcases to lug them around so no one can see what’s inside. Much of my life I’m more than willing to share because I’m proud of the adult I’ve become! But like anyone, I have a few heavy ugly brown suitcases weighing me down that you just don’t want to look inside.
Let’s take a quick detour & talk about transparency on social media. I try very hard to be an authentic individual online. Because of the nature of my work, It’s important for me to be open & willing to share my story & faith journey with others. I feel called to live that way. So transparency is usually what you’ll get. But one of my character traits that doesn’t usually make an appearance in my Instagram photos is what you can find in that big ugly brown suitcase.
I have a temper. I’m quick to anger, especially when the situation is unfair or unjust. I’m an assertive person, so I’m not afraid to stand up for myself or for others. But sometimes it’s goes around the wheel from assertive ALL THE WAY around to angry spit-fire. I’m also a stickler for the rules generally speaking, which tends to make me unpopular with calm, relaxed people.
Often times after a situation where I get angry, I feel ashamed of myself. I don’t feel bad about my reasoning BEHIND the anger, I just wish I could handle things more calmly. 3 days ago I had an argument with a family member, & looking back on it I know that’s not how a Christian should act. Through all of the scripture-reading I do & all of the time I spend with God, why haven’t I been able to master getting my temper under control? It’s embarrassing for me to even share this online, because that’s not how I want people to see me, but it’s important to lay your shortcomings at the cross. Admitting that we recognize an issue in our ways is step #1.
I found 2 verses from Proverbs (on the same page!) that share similar messages:
“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back” -Proverbs 29:11
“A man of wrath stirs up strife, & one given to anger causes much transgression.” -Proverbs 29:22
Turns out this message is seen over & over in Proverbs. It’s repeated so many times because the Lord wants us to take stock of our actions & how we’re representing Him, our King! He wants us to see the bigger picture. That one moment of anger isn’t worth the stress & negative actions. We’ll be His beloved children eternally, so one argument is a tiny drop in an ocean. So after reflecting on that argument from 3 days ago, I prayed:
Dear Lord, why do I still struggle with anger? I can’t seem to get my temper under control, especially when something is unfair. I want to be the person that can refrain from bursting out my outrage & not take things too personally. It’s one of my greatest shortcomings. I wish I could become a more peace-filled, self-assured person without becoming a pushover. Lord, will you instill in me a sense of peace & help me to see the bigger picture in moments of anger? Amen.
He will work on it with you. He will take your baggage & help you carry it. We all fall short of the glory of God, but He will hold your hand & work on it with you. The Lord already sees the bigger picture. The WHOLE picture. And He will work on it with you while you wait to see what He sees. :) Just lay it at the cross. That’s where the bigger picture begins.
What are you carrying with you? What do you want to work on? The first step is getting it out there & asking Him for help!
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