31. Hothead

“Looking kind of downcast this morning,” I said to Stan.

“You are too observant,” he said with a slight smile.

“Want to talk about it?” I asked.

“Promise you won’t think less or me?” 

“Promise,” I said.

“Well, I blew it again yesterday afternoon,” Stan began.

“How?” I asked.

“My wife and I went out to do some shopping, which we always enjoy.  We were going to have some lunch and then go to a favorite store to see about some Christmas gifts.   But I ruined it before we even got started.”

“What happened?” I asked him.

“I happened,” he said with a bit of drama.  “I let my ugly old self rise up and get angry with a driver who took the parking place I had my eye on.”

“Rather than just let it go, I really lost my cool.  I said some ugly things that made me realize I am not where I like to think I am in my relationship with God.”

“Do you know what it means to close someone’s spirit?” he asked me.  But before I could even answer, Stan said with frustration, “What I said closed my wife’s spirit so much that I had, in a thoughtless instant, ruined what could have been a very nice outing.”

“After my outburst, my wife said she had lost her enthusiasm for doing anything with me. We went home and I spent a frosty afternoon and evening.”

“Will I ever learn?” Stan said, more to himself than to me.

Stan continued, “I have read in Proverbs countless times that a hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but only when I do the stirring do I realize fully the truth of that verse.”

“Is it fair to say that the parking spot wasn’t as important as you thought it was?” I poked a jab at Stan.

Stan responded, “Amen!”

_____________________________

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger pacifies contention.  Proverbs 15:18.

Prayer:  Lord, you know my tendency to be hot-tempered and to overreact in ways that are so contrary to what you want.  Ways that can be so terribly destructive.  I ask for your forgiveness and for your help in changing so that I am only who you intend.  Also, that I am only the person you can and will use, as well as being only who I am needed to be.  Amen.

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