God's word in today's world

Watch out for the clutch slipping

Things that drive you up the wall happen often. People do things that from my perspective are plain stupid. People make wrong choices and I’m often left holding the baby. And here it is: The boy left his clothes on the bathroom floor AGAIN. Who does he think is going to pick it up?

Just outside the front door I see that the guys who had tarred the road had left their mess on my beautifully manicured lawn. I drive down the street and an old lady cuts right in front of me. I immediately fell on my hooter, but a small hand only waved graciously at me.

And there are many more examples where I’m confronted every day with people and their activities that are the exact opposite of how I think people should live. I know you can also give me hundreds of examples of your family members, co-workers, employers and even friends and foes doing things that make you so angry that your blood rises higher than boiling point.

And the worst of all is that we can’t do much about it. I often have to stop my wife telling me it’s not going to help talking to some guy about the stupid thing he did, because your words go in one ear and out the other. Yes, sometimes we have to tell others about their mistakes and help them to do things right.

What we can do is to work on our reaction to the stupid things other people do first of all. We lose control so easily that our blood boils. I don’t know what it is, but the higher the temperature of the boiling blood, the less control we have over our reactions. I must admit that there are things that immediately upset me so much that I simply cannot prevent what is coming out of my mouth. And afterwards, naturally, I’m so angry with myself for acting that way. You know, there’s absolutely nothing worse than going back afterwards tail between your legs to apologise for your tirade.

Therefore, Paul warns in big red letters: 31Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive.

Listen well: We all have a temper. You don’t have to feel guilty about that. You are not instructed to pull out and throw away your temper. We can’t do it anyway. No, what you are instructed to do is to bring your temper under control. And that is something that you can do. You can control your reaction to the stupid things other people do. If you don’t control it and you lose it, it’s all over. Then you can’t control your reaction. Then it will run like wild fire through dry veld.

We are human, yes, and sometimes we don’t succeed. Sometimes the other person acts in such a way that I simply cannot control my temper. Then, Paul says, we shouldn’t walk around with all that thunder inside us for too long. It’s not good news for the other person and even less for you. When there is a long silence between people, I call it verbal abuse, because to me it IS a kind of abuse. The results are negative and damaging.

We must realise that the devil targets our relationships. If he can wreak havoc in our relationships, he will cause a lot of damage. We must be aware of that, we must believe it, and we must be prepared for it. From our side we must do what we can. Put a couple of guards next to your temper. Stop before it is too late and when the clutch slips, be the least and make things right. Next time just try a little harder.

Here’s a joke to put the humour back into our relationships!

The wife was very ill.  Her husband was sitting next to her holding her hand. Husband: “My wife, we had a wonderful life together and there is nothing that I wouldn’t do again if I could.  But there is one thing I want to ask you before it’s too late – that box in the wardrobe.  Years ago I asked you about it and you said I shouldn’t ask again, because it’s the only secret you have from me.  Don’t you think it’s time?”

“Go and fetch the box then and open it”, she said.

So he did that. Inside the box he found two crocheted doilies and a whole bunch of R100 and R200 notes.

She explained: “The day before our wedding my mother said I must always be the least if we ever should argue. But, because she knew my personality, she gave me some advice on how to make it easier.  She said that every time we fought I should crochet a doily. It helped to calm me.”

With tears in his eyes and gratitude in his heart because there were only two doilies after 60 years of married life, he asked: “And the money?”  To which she replied: “That’s from selling all the doilies I made ….”☺


Ephesians 4:17-32


What makes your blood boil?

How can you control those feelings?

Is it easy for you to apologise?


Father, I must confess that sometimes I don’t succeed. Sometimes I simply cannot stop the thunder and in my anger I say things that should have been left unsaid. Please help me to be in control and to react in a way that shows your wisdom. Amen

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