Reverend Tim McGuire
McDonald's & Church
"A soft answer turneth away wrath;
but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1)
Greetings in Christ,
“How is it the smallest inconveniences often create the most annoyance?” This was the question I posed to my wife this weekend. It wasn’t a big deal, but something inside of me really wanted to make it one. A quick stop at a local drive thru did not end as quickly as I had anticipated… and something inside of me began to boil.
I could have found many excuses to justify my anger. I realize I wasn’t the first customer asked to pull over and wait. Maybe it was the way she asked… or maybe it was more after waiting I had to enter the store; only to be informed they had no record of my order. This encounter resulted in the “summonsing of the manger” who promptly asked if I was sure I had actually ordered and paid in their drive-thru line? ☹
All the above was reason enough, but the truth is, in retrospect the anger was more in me, than about the situation or the moment I was currently facing. The work week had been an emotional roller coaster. We were running late for the volleyball game. I really didn’t want the grand kids eating in my car. Add it all together and I could have justified an explosion to rival that of Mount St. Helen’s.
Here’s where I need to again thank God for my wife. With a little calm coaching from Teresa, I chose to allow the moment to pass without a response. Moments latter I was rewarded with a peace that sweep through my being.
It is not always easy to control our anger when we are misused, misunderstood, ignored, or spoken to harshly. Unkind words are often the most difficult to swallow. At such moments it can be very helpful to remember it takes two to make an argument. As I pen this correspondence, I remember another opportune moment when God pointed my attention to a very timely message posted on a local church marquee. God’s sermon to me on that day:
“BE CAREFUL WHEN ARGUING WITH AN IDIOT
THAT HE IS NOT DOING THE SAME THING.”
Many a beautiful and other wise peaceful day has been spoiled by a senseless and unnecessary argument. Harsh words hurt; and hurt feelings can and often do linger far after the cause of the misunderstanding has long been forgotten. In these moments the Biblical direction calls for a “soft answer.” The soft answer can turn away anger, and make it possible for both parties to choose peace and unity, rather than falling victim (again) to wiles of the enemy who lavishly provides ample excuses for division and disruption among the people of God!
Decide to make each day a good day. Start the day by making a conscious choice to love others. Why? Because Jesus loves you! Maybe this is what Jesus had in mind when He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers…”
Together in His service,