James 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
In the mid-seventies I got to attend Wheaton Grad School. It was one of the richest times in my life. One of the more embarrassing and revealing memories I have of that time was in a counseling class I took. On that particular day the instructor had us bring our spouses with us to class, so my wife Donna was there with me.
We were all seated in a large circle and discussing some subject. At one point I became engaged in a dialogue with another male student on the other side of the circle. It was a lively discussion as we disagreed with each other on whatever the subject was.
All of a sudden, the instructor who was sitting in the circle listening to all this, broke into this ‘dialogue’ the two of us were having. She looked at me and asked, “Are you angry?” I looked at her and said, “What?” She pressed her point and asked, “Are you experiencing anger right now?” I replied, “Of course not. We’re just having a lively discussion.”
At that point the whole class just exploded with laughter. One of the guys in the class that had become a friend of mine shouted out to me, “You’re so angry, steam is coming out of your ears!” I had no idea. I sat there, dumbfounded, trying to grasp the reality of the situation. How could I be so angry and not know it?
What a blessing that experience turned out to be! I became aware of a major ‘blind-spot’ in my life and it involved something – anger – that can be so destructive. Needless to say this set off a process of discovery for me. Fortunately, I wanted to change which meant that I had to learn to recognize when I was becoming angry and stop it from occurring.
Praise God for family, friends and co-workers who were willing to be a part of my repenting process. Think of the value of being asked, “Do you know you’re becoming angry?” when you don’t want to be angry. The Holy Spirit used their valuable input to help me change.