Mark Affleck

I Wanted to Destroy All 10 Pins, And He Deserved It

April 13, 2017
Spiritual Growth

You have got to be kidding me! How could a close friend, a Christian no less, let me down in such a dramatic and hurtful way? I can’t believe it…and I am furious.
Those exact words appear in one of my journals when a trusted and dear friend let me down. It’s a story I continually draw strength from and my hope is that it resonates with you.
I can remember this day as if it was yesterday. Especially how I initially wanted to lash out in anger and mow him down like a bowling ball sending all 10 pins to their darkened home. It’s true.
I also wanted to clean the mess up quickly and make it go away. With the stress current surging, my stomach was doing head flips and tied up like last year’s Christmas lights in the garage. All of these thoughts appeared within the first few seconds of watching him melt down and shower me with his shrapnel. Thankfully, these thoughts left as quickly as they appeared.
That would not have been the case earlier in my faith walk when I definitely would have exploded in anger, shot everything in sight, and then checked to see what was dead. But not in this situation. Not on this day. God had prepared me to direct my focus on him immediately and then wait for his direction.
It was a blessing to have how God wanted me to respond in me and ready to show up when called upon. That blessing came with the awesome privilege of referring to his Word for wisdom like this:
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20
I had successfully interrupted my errant train of thought with passionate and specific prayer. With my new-found strength and confidence in God, I started breaking the situation down to determine where that initial burst of anger came from and consider how that response had minimized my trust in him.
Next, I asked for God’s discernment on the conversations I would soon have with the person involved. Putting all of this through God’s filter calmed my angst and produced a great rush of joy. After releasing the issue to God, I experienced peace in the panic and serenity in the swirl.
And there’s another really neat blessing from this experience that serves as a constant reminder. Here it is:
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:26
God wants us to know him intimately so the fullness of Christ is manifest in every aspect of our lives.

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