I Ain’t No Killer But Don’t Push Me
For as long as I can remember I’ve had a short fuse when it comes to being provoked. I can go from zero to one hundred real quick. As a matter of fact it is nothing but the grace of God alone that has kept me from being incarcerated as a result of my bouts with rage. I’m the one that was in the movie theater cheering loudly and high-fiving girlfriends as Bernadine torched her husband’s car in Waiting to Exhale. From stabbing an ex-boyfriend for cheating to physically attacking a relative after she left me stranded in the middle of nowhere, I’ve consistently answered when rage has called my name.
I actually think I subconsciously believed that being offended or hurt was a justifiable reason for someone to strike another or damage personal property. I mean I’ve done it myself a time or two (or ten or twenty… if I’m totally transparent). I’ve never been a proponent of unprovoked violence but I’ve definitely justified it in response to what I consider being “tried”. As my dearly beloved Tupac said “I ain’t no killer but don’t push me.”
A few years ago I knew that in order for me to be able to live the life I teach about and not totally embarrass Jesus altogether, I’d have to get some self control in regards to my temper. And to be totally honest, I was afraid that my grace card would soon be declined for insufficiency. Besides, I don’t look good in orange jumpsuits (At least not the ill-fitted cotton/polyester blend with numbers stenciled on them).
First we must understand that rage is nothing but uncontrollable anger. The good news is that we can get our anger under control and submitted to God’s authority if we remember these simple truths:
1. “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all” Rom 12:17
Our mindset has to move away from getting even and toward getting ahead. We get ahead in life by doing what is good in God’s eyes.
2. “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20
Your anger doesn’t produce God’s righteousness in your life. It actually is a seed that brings about a harvest of strife and contention. It becomes a magnet to draw more conflict towards you. Ever wonder why some people stay getting in fights?
3. “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Prov 16:32
The hardest battle you will ever fight is the one in your mind. Ruling your spirit means to exercise ultimate power and authority over it. You do this by bringing every thought captive to the word and will of God. Put the word on it!
4. “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:2
This scripture is our example of exactly “how” to do this. Jesus was able to endure the cross because of the joy of sitting on the throne that he focused on ahead of him. That’s what we have to do. When we are abused, hurt, scorned, etc we have to focus on what’s ahead of us (the end goal) and that will help us to make it through the current testing and keep us from poppin’ off.
Holding on to these scriptures keeps me in the right perspective when I’m wronged and if I’m honest probably help to keep me out of jail too. LOL