Pressure Test

There’s nothing like a little pressure to bring out what’s really going on inside… And it’s just as true in the little stuff as in the big stuff.  Take my day yesterday… My boss called me into a meeting to tell me that the deadline for my project just got moved up by a week…Oh, and also that my coworker who was helping on the project would be out on an unexpected vacation for the next 10 days.  Of course, that meant that I had to race across town to meet said coworker before his flight left to get the materials he’d been working on.  The final straw was getting stuck behind a driver that was determined to go seven miles below the speed limit, seemingly just to keep me from making it there in time.  That’s when I lost it.  If I was a cartoon, you would have seen the steam coming out of my ears, but instead I erupted with an outburst that instantly made me thankful that I was alone in the car.  Seriously?  Again?!  It seems like I’ve been working on this anger thing forever.  I read scriptures every day about it, I know I’m supposed to let it go, and I really am trying.  So what gives?  Well, actually, a point I heard at a recent Bible Study comes to mind:

"If the Word that you're reading is not converting into power in you- the power to live that life, the power to change the things in you,- then you're really not believing it and you're really not walking in it." (Excerpt from Taking Hold With Pitbull Faith pt. 2, by Dr. Chester C. Pipkin Jr.)

So the proof is in the pudding, and apparently, I’m either not believing what the Word says, or I’m not really putting it into action… or both.  I can’t just read and expect things to magically change.  God’s way of doing things requires faith (Heb. 11:6), and faith requires action (James 2:26.)  God wants to help me change and become more like Jesus from the inside out, but I have to do my part in the process, which is to believe, and then act accordingly.  So when the Bible says,

“Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires,” (James 1:20 NIV)

 I have to believe that is really true.  And putting it into action means that when I feel like my boss is treating me unfairly, or things aren’t going my way, I can’t just keep my anger hidden, believing I’m justified in my feelings.  I need to let it go, and trust God that His way is better.  As I practice this, or “walk in it,” as the Pastor said, I will see the change- in the big things, and in the small things.  So the next time the pressure builds and someone yells at me or spills my coffee or cuts me off in traffic, or whatever, it won’t be pent up anger that comes out, because that won’t even be in me anymore.  Instead, it will be the character of Jesus, because the Word of God works, and it has power to change us.