1 Peter 5: 8-11
8-11 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.
It can be hard to keep a cool head. Sometimes we have a rough day or wake up angry without really knowing why. This morning I woke up wanting to punch a wall until it crumbled before me and I had no idea why. I tried to keep my cool and smile hoping that smiling would help me release this anger. Unfortunately, the anger remained. I watched a sermon and motivational videos hoping that one of them would lift me out of this meaningless anger. Nothing. The ordinary events of a parent like picking up the kids from school and taking them to appointments just seemed to aggravate the situation. Fortunately, my husband didn’t have any problems with me shutting myself off for a few hours in our room to eat lunch, watch a show on Netflix, and write a little bit.
Having time alone has proved an effective tool to keep my sometimes senseless anger under control. During this time I am able to think and realize that things aren’t so bad. Today I had nothing to be angry about. I have three beautiful kids who were trying their hardest to behave and make me smile, but I was just angry. I did explain to them I was in a bad mood and trying hard not to take it out on them and later tonight I will be making sure they understand mommy wasn’t angry with them. Today I had no real reason for that anger. No cause for suffering. In fact any other day it would have been a good day, but here we are. During this time alone I reminded myself that there is probably someone out there right now that is having a really bad day. Not because they woke up angry but because nothing seemed to go right. If I carry that senseless anger I woke up with around with me I could find that person and make their day so much worse.
My bad attitude could be the thing that tips the scales for them and causes them to do something rash or stupid that they wouldn’t ordinarily do. That is precisely what the devil wants. I know the thought of a devil existing is a topic people like to avoid or pretend that doesn’t exist. I firmly believe that to believe in one requires you to believe in the other. The devil exists to give us the freedom to choose God. He uses that to his advantage. There is nothing he loves more than seeing you get worked up over nothing and lashing out on some unsuspecting innocent person. When you are a believer this provides him the opportunity to use your claim to faith as a weapon. Now he can whisper to that person you hurt: ” See that’s what Christians are like. Why believe in a God that is obviously cruel just like them!” He will try to use that senseless anger or misdirected anger to spiritually cripple someone forever keeping them from ever experiencing God’s love and grace as we have. Keeping our cool is hard, but it is a skill we must be forever improving if we wish to serve him as he asks us to do. We must always be prepared to humble ourselves and be ready to admit our wrong and apologize for those moments we are less than perfect and mess up. That apology can do wonders to help repair any damage that may have been inflicted in that moment of weakness.
Lord, help me to keep a cool head. Help me learn how to control my anger and frustration in a way that won’t harm others. Help me to use anger in a way that serves you and let go of the anger that is senseless or misdirected. Help me quickly realize when I misuse my anger. Give me the strength to humble my myself, own up to my mistakes, and ask those I wronged for forgiveness. In your name, I pray. Amen.
Song of Meditation: