This just in from our global online tribe: I have trouble staying calm when I’m angry or when someone wrongs me or lets me down. I pray about it and ask for restraint but still struggle. What am I missing?
Remaining cool in the heat of life’s battle is one tough task for every believer on planet earth. It’s a challenge that comes in many forms and degrees. Some are pedestrian “that’s life” bumps in the road. Others are “persistently painful” hardships. And some are “battle of a lifetime” struggles.
No matter how the “remain calm challenge” presents itself, here is where we want to end up: Christ-like Calmness. If that sounds “easy,” ditch that thought quickly. It’s the opposite.
Here’s what Christ-like Calmness looks like: We need to be “slow to anger” and “hold our peace.”
“…I have held my peace; I have kept still and restrained myself.” Isaiah 42:14
Slow to anger is not the absence of anger. It is managing the emotion and getting through the hot spot early and allowing it to dissipate without ever exploding. It is regulating our emotions. Keeping our wits. Overlooking offenses.
Jesus lived a life of calm even when his ministry was interrupted or when he was disrespected by the authorities or when his disciples let him down. Even in Gethsemane when his tear-spotted agony played out with loud emotion, Jesus maintained reverence for his Father.
Jesus was not always calm, but he never lost control.
Make no mistake, this is not Heaven. It is earth and we have not reached our heavenly glory. That means we are always going to be susceptible to the world’s evil and the tests and trials it spawns.
But living with Christ-like Calmness, even in life’s rough patches, glorifies God. And, importantly, it allows us to love others rather than obsessing over our distress. It also gives us the opportunity to spread the Good News because Christians who live with Christ-like Calmness attract the attention of non-believers.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19
I want to be composed under pressure and live with Christ-like Calmness. I want to be vigilant in watching how I carry myself and treat others in the name of Jesus because that is far more important than “getting my way.”
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
How do you score on the CHRIST-LIKE CALMNESS test? What can you do to improve your score?
“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32