My wrestling coach taught me that there are very few athletes that can channel anger into efficient motion.
“Dan, I’ve noticed that you get worse when you’re mad. Let me explain something to you: Whenever I started to sense that my opponent was getting angry, I knew I was winning; that I was in his head; that I was frustrating him; and that his frustration would not make him better, but more sloppy, more prone to mistakes that I would be able to leverage to my advantage.”
“You lose your cool–you lose the match.”
This lesson has stuck with me my whole life. This doesn’t mean that I’ve never lost my temper–I have. But it does mean that I’ve learned that anger is almost always wasteful, inefficient, and more trouble than it’s worth. There are a few instances when righteous indignation is appropriate–but I believe they are rare, and there’s probably a very decent chance that Jesus alone was able to pull it off without sinning.
So, a prayer for us today:
“Lord, we need your patience when we feel like we’re going to lose our cool. Help us, as the Scripture says, ‘to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.’ Thank you. Amen.”