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It’s a newer experience for me. Road rage.
As a kid, I saw a few adults engaging in the practice. I never really understood it…but I understand it now.
Some too-cool-for-school guy riding right up on my tail only to zip around me as soon as possible. That’s fine. Whatever. But then you have the nerve to swerve back in my lane having barely managed the whole passing me process?
I hit the brakes and my nerves are shot.
Now I’m upset.
Upset is the nice and polite way of describing my condition. But there is nothing polite or nice about what I’m feeling and thinking. My wife and boy are in this car. Grrr….
I am angry. I want this punk to know that I’m angry.
I want to flail my arms, bang on the center of my steering wheel, and jester my frustration in a way that will really communicate my distaste for the way this guy drives.
And then the verse that I’m trying to memorize comes to mind:
Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.James 1:19
I consider it.
What will my anger accomplish?
Well, it won’t accomplish the righteousness of God. And I want to be a man that “hungers and thirsts after righteousness.” Jesus says in Matthew 5:6 that those that hunger and thirst after righteousness are blessed.
Will I really be blessed right now by giving myself over to anger?
It will feel good. For a bit. But will it really bless me?
It won’t make things “right.” It won’t fix the problem. It won’t bring any real kind of justice for the perceived wrong that I’ve endured.
Actually, now that I’m thinking about (thank you Holy Spirit for helping me THINK!), this will probably bear negative fruit in my life.
My wife and my son will see me go wild. It’s just one time…but one time closer to becoming and habit…to becoming a part of my character. What would seeing this anger potentially stir in my relational dynamic with my wife and son? As their leader, what would it lead them towards?
This anger is probably sin.
Sin rarely seems “that bad” in the moment. It doesn’t seem like it would be “that big of a deal” for me to freak out on this guy for all of 2 seconds.
But I’m beginning to see what God is saying in His Word. Man’s anger doesn’t accomplish anything. I’m beginning to believe that. I’m beginning to see that my anger doesn’t help me, it hurts me.
And then my heart begins to resonate with David’s when he says,
Your decrees are wonderful; therefore I obey themPsalm 119:129
God’s Word is wonderful. He is always looking out for my best and so I can trust that His words. They will help me gain the life that I want and protect me from slipping into a life full of consequences that I don’t want.
I’ve said it before, but we love God’s Word not because we’re good, but because we are needy, sick, and broken.
Maybe you don’t deal with something like road rage and you’ve lost some respect for me after reading this blog. That’s okay. I lose respect for me all the time. But isn’t God’s Word awesome…and wonderful?!
Or maybe you don’t think that road rage is that big of a deal and you’re thinking that I’m silly for writing a whole blog post about it. All I can say is that God used this experience to teach me and draw me closer to Himself. I think that it’s awesome to me that He want to engage with me even the “small” things.
P.S. Watch out for all those crazy drivers out there!
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