“You may not see it coming, but sin’s control is coming quickly. Your anger is a warning, like a flashing light on the dashboard of your car, letting you know your way isn’t working. If you keep going, you’re going to walk through a door you won’t be able to walk back through.”- Kyle Idleman
“If you [Cain] do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”- Genesis 4:7-8 (NIV)
Kyle Idleman concludes Chapter 4 of When Your Way Isn’t Working as he boils anger down to four stages.
1. Mild irritation. It’s all too easy for mild irritations to quickly add up.
2. Provoked frustration. This deep level of intensity feels like something more intentional and spiteful. In addition, successive mild irritations often lead to provoked frustration.
3. Personal indignation. Many of us, Kyle states, allow ourselves to feel personally disrespected — personally attacked or mistreated on purpose. Furthermore, many of us live in this stage. Because with our short fuse, we skip over irritation and frustration. Instead, we go straight to indignation.
4. Uncontrolled rage. Finally, in this stage, you take action. But when the floodgates open, the water spills out everywhere. As a result, you begin to lose the ability to think rationally about what you should say. Or how you should respond.
Above all, Kyle counsels:
“At this stage, you are capable of saying things and doing thing you never thought you would say or do. Our challenge is to pay close attention to our anger. While things are still in the irritation or frustration stage, we must take a breath and connect with the Vine.”
In conclusion, Pastor Idleman exhorts, humbly acknowledge your frustration. Rather than minimizing or justifying it. Also, find time to take a breath and listen to God.
Today’s question: What Bible verses calm you when the flashing light of anger warns you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Margin and time = connection”