In my devotions God not only reminded me of my Christian duty, He also gave me a more enlightened approach, on how to deal with this anger. Prayer. Sounds trite, but it is true. My devotions quoted Matthew 5:44. "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you."
I try, but my emotions flair up and I react. Then comes the guilt, the regret and feelings of shame. Shame on me for first of all letting the situation push my emotions out of control. Like the jerk behind me at the stop light, blaring his horn the first second the light turned green. Literally. I was staring at the light when it turned and had just moved my foot from the brake to the gas pedal when he leaned on his horn and began gesturing. He never gave me the chance to react before loudly declaring his disgust that I happen to be in front of him.
Startled at the intensity of his emotion, I knee-jerked with one of my own, and visualized all manner of get-backs for his rudeness. I did none of them, but did seethed all the way home and for several hours later. Did it bother him any? No, but it sure ruined my evening, because I allowed it to.
And other issues with other people's rudeness that so often catches me off guard. When it blind sides me, I react with emotion, rather than reason. I don't always express it outwardly, but inside is a volcano waiting to explode if the emotions are not somehow diffused. And, you know my body language is screaming.
In my devotion, Living Faith, Kristin Armstrong offered new insight into God's commandment to love our enemies. Yes, pray for them and receive the "boomerang blessing." When we pray for those who have hurt us, the prayer bounces back to our own hearts, healing where we need it most.
It was then I realized the power of this kind of prayer. While praying for my enemies, like the jerk at the stop light, this will diffuse my anger and calm the firestorm of emotions running amok. Prayer has the power to transform the person who it is intended for and the one sending it.
In keeping with this epiphany, I will work at praying for everyone of my enemies, current and future (I have my daily commute ahead of me still..). Instead of the proverbial, count to ten, I will pray first before reacting, and keep praying until I feel calmer. Even it is a short, two second prayer, I can be confident God will take my small effort and magnify it.
Thank you, Lord, for your compassionate guidance. Without it, I really wood be a mess. Amen.