Today’s Scripture: Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. PsalmĀ 37:8

When I was a teenager, my friend and I took a little row boat out in a spot where we were not supposed to be. There were signs everywhere: “Danger Zone!”, “No Fishing!”, “No boating!” Honestly, those signs just made me mad. All we wanted to do was fish; it’s not like we wanted to rob a bank. I didn’t understand my error until a huge wave washed our boat on top of the gate. We stood on top of the dam and pushed the boat back into the water ourselves. I wasn’t saved, but I sure was praying! I knew in that moment that if we were swept over the edge we would drown and never be heard from again. I was already picturing it in the newspaper: Two Young Men Swept Over Edge of Dam-The Idiots Were Fishing.

When a quick temper overrules the brain God gave us, we get in more trouble than we ever bargained for. So often, we will not budge from what we want, and in our stubbornness, we will do and say anything to get it. Our words and actions just flow right over the edge, and we can never get them back. We need to be able to read the signs of when we are about to overflow and take our frustration to the Lord in prayer.

Being slow to anger is one quality that does not come easily for most people. It is usually the result of much time spent with God. “Doesn’t everyone have a breaking point?” you may ask. You don’t have to break if you abide with the Lord and stay calm. Have your devotions on a daily basis. The closer you are to Him, the further away you are from an angry outburst. When you have your devotions, God speaks, convicts, strengthens, and teaches you how to be more like Him. Your time with the Lord does not have to be long, but it does need to be meaningful.

Maybe you really struggle with just wanting to do your own thing and when anyone tries to help you off the edge, a wave of anger envelopes you. Whether your children try your patience, your family members get on your last nerve, or your brothers and sisters in Christ make you want to overflow with frustration, remember that your words and actions can never be taken back. Spending time with the Lord faithfully each day will enable you to overcome these wrathful waves and will keep you out of the danger zone.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder