Sunday, February 22, 2009

Control.

I have spent the last few days with an under current of simmering anger. I have learned in the last year or so to keep it under control - anger has always been a huge issue with me for various reasons - but I have literally been set free from that in the last year. Doesn't mean I have been necessarily perfect, but being set free creates peace in your life and I can truly say it has done this for me.

I have also learned to explore the "why" of simmering anger. There is usually something I can learn about myself when I can gather the courage to look into my soul where anger resides. And I usually can, with the revelation of knowledge about the "why", evict it from my soul, replacing it with peace and satisfaction.

What I found during this excursion to my soul was a control issue. I had lost control of a situation - or had perceived I lost control and became angry about it under the surface. I recently assumed a leadership role with an organization - something I always hesitantly do - I don't think of myself a good leader - and quite frankly, this bothers me. It probably bothers me because society (church included) puts great value on leaders. They are enshrined to the pedestal of highest regard. And of course, I, selfishly, want to be on that pedestal. I want to be valued and highly regarded.

In my situation, I had a person come in and take over. He took over not because he wanted the glory or recognition, but because he saw a need I was not fulfilling. And that's true - I am not the best person to fulfill the role he is fulfilling. And, even with all of my negative feelings of anger, I can see that his contribution is going to really help our organization - he is perfect for the role. But that means me giving up control and I don't like that.

I have to tell you that after I went through all the different things that I rejected as the source of my anger - things like my wife being gone all weekend, like my kids not listening to me, like the house being trashed and I have to clean it - things that were only annoying me because I was already angry. When I realized that my anger entered the minute I lost control of the organization, I immediately tried to deny it to myself. But you can only do that so long - and I had to come to the conclusion that I was mad about losing control. I also had to come to the conclusion that it is good for the organization and my own soul that I lost some of the control. Both will benefit.

No one likes to lose control. you know why I know this? Because when someone loses control, they usually "lose it" and will do anything to regain it - and usually to the destruction of those around them. I have seen it played out many times in every kind of venue you and I can think of. It is never a pretty situation.

But, not surprisingly, this is not God's will for us. His will involves things like dying to self, loving others before ourselves, submitting to His will and acting with careful wisdom and discernment in the situations we face in our day-to-day lives. It calls for setting aside anger, malice, pride, arrogance, crass language, insults, greed - the things that do not produce the kind of Christian He wants us to be. They are to be replace by the fruit of the Spirit:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. -Galatians 5:22-25

Everyone who has been a Christian for any amount of time have heard of the fruit of the Spirit. But I need to actually put them into action instead of dismissing them as cliché with a polite nod in agreement of their necessity. That's what I have done - at least in this situation anyways.

I can honestly say that once I realized the predicament I had put myself in with my misplaced anger, I dealt with it in honesty and transparency before God and my own conscience and it evaporated. Now I fully expect it to tweak me now and then - and actually, I will be grateful for the tweaks. I need them. They are God's way of reminding me there is more at work in my life and those lives around me than my own wants and desires.

1 comment:

jason john said...

good stuff brotha

good stuff