A few weeks ago, my buttons were pushed…hard.
An email I received left me under the impression something had been borrowed without permission, and, to make matters worse, used in a manner I had expressly instructed against twice before.
I felt taken advantage of, ignored.
My immediate response was to sit down and write an email to admonish the offending party. I wanted to say “How dare you?” but I put on my writer’s hat and softened the language while still communicating that I was upset. As I went to hit send, my internet went out. I tried several times to send the message, but it got late, so I copied it to paste it in an email again in the morning.
The next morning, before I headed out the door, I sat down to the computer once more. What I thought I had saved was gone. At this point, I began to think perhaps God didn’t want the email to go out. I opened Facebook and was immediately met with this post by a friend: “Think before you speak or maybe don’t speak at all and when you do, use your words to encourage and build others up.” It was followed by Proverbs 18:21 which states “The tongue has the power of life and death.”
“Okay God, I hear you.”
While I gave up on sending an email, my annoyance still simmered and I contemplated a face to face discussion. I may have heard God, but I still wanted to make myself heard.
When I finally saw the actual situation for myself, I realized an incorrect term had been used to describe the object in question. Nothing had been borrowed or used improperly. I could feel the egg on my face.
Proverbs 14:29 says “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” And Ecclesiastes 7:9 instructs “Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.”
That day, I was saved from looking like the fool I was. I was so sure I had a right to be angry and upset. I immediately rushed to judgement and wanted to express those thoughts – in writing no less.
But the truth is, even if my assumptions had been correct, a hasty expression of anger would still have made me look foolish. The appropriate thing would have been to observe, confirm, then instruct in a kind and patient manner, exhibiting God’s love in the matter.
So, my friends, don’t be a fool like me. I’m ashamed that as a Christian who has walked with Jesus for many years, I still let my anger get the best of me from time to time. The tongue does have the power of life and death and we should never forget that.
Pull the plug on your angry words before God has to pull the plug on your internet!