By Andrea Merrell
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses … Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV
When my kids were younger, they probably thought
their mother was a powder keg—always ready to blow. I can just imagine them
saying to their friends, “Yep, that’s my mom. Blow in, blow up, blow out.”
In my twenties and thirties, anger became my default. I took everything personally and was easily offended. I automatically reacted to the slightest annoyance while struggling to keep my emotions in check. I cried, prayed, and constantly asked for forgiveness. This went on for years, and I could never understand why God didn’t just take the anger away.
Then one day during my quiet time (when I was actually listening instead of doing all the talking), I heard that still, small whisper: You’re choosing to be angry.
Thoughts shot through my head like bottle rockets on the Fourth of July. Excuse me. Choosing? Not me, Lord. I hate being angry. You’ve got to be kidding. But in my heart I knew the answer to my desperate prayers had finally come. The responsibility fell on me, and it was time to choose a different response.
When I was growing up and someone would act in an unbecoming manner, my grandfather would say, “That boy sure has a mind of his own.” Well said, and so true. God gave us a mind and a will, granting us the capacity to make choices. We can make the right ones or live with the consequences of the wrong ones. What a shame when we have to get older before we learn the biblical principle of choosing life and blessings over death and curses.
Since there are no do-overs, I can’t go back and change the past, but many years of walking with the Lord have taught me to make better choices. Am I still tempted to get angry? Definitely. But God has lengthened my fuse, shown me a better way, and I no longer walk around ready to blow.
How about you?
(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and graur razvan ionut.)