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Big Boy Baby

Big Boy Baby

Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. Exodus 32:19

Though I consider myself not to be an angry person, it is not unusual to find myself thinking or saying ridiculous things in my anger. When my kids are yelling at each other, I yell at them to stop yelling. Though this makes perfect sense at the time, they are old enough to see through my hypocrisy. In my anger, I turn into a big boy baby.

Though Moses had cause to be angry with the Israelites – they had just fashioned and worshipped an idol – his initial response was less than constructive. In his wrath, Moses turned his anger on the closest inanimate objects at hand, taking God’s written commands, the stone tablets, and smashing them to pieces.

Our anger, like a drug, often clouds our thinking, causing us to lash out in unproductive and hurtful ways. It is not that anger is necessarily wrong. Anger is an emotion that we may have no initial control over. It is our response to it that makes it destructive.

In our anger, we can learn to interrogate it. Do I have cause to be angry? Or am I just being a big boy baby? There are certainly things in this world that should cause us anger. Often though, we are just angry because something or someone has thwarted our will. Our anger is often just a product of our own immaturity.

Still though, there are times when anger is justified. If someone hurts a child, we can and should feel anger. It is in these situations that our risk for a destructive response is the highest. It is when we feel most justified in our anger that we are the most likely to respond inappropriately. No matter how righteous we are in our anger, God never asks us to sin in response to sin. Even in justified anger, we always must keep our eyes on God, refusing to respond with more destructive behavior.

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  1. Rob says:

    I’m going to quit reading your messages Scott – you are hitting below the belt !!
    I’ve been working on what I call “triggers” ie: something that will instantly tell me to STOP when I feel my BP spike through my head !! That is: the BP spike IS my trigger !!! That rush seems (by Gods grace) to tell me in a nano second STOP !!
    Years ago, I came home from work at the hospital very angry (you can probibly attest personally to that) – my little children came running to to door “daddys home” !! My self centered, no eyes on God response was (in a harsh voice) LEAVE ME ALONE, I’ve had a bad day and I’m mad – I scared them to tears – but I WAS JUSTIFIED, right ????
    Somebody should have put my 🥜 in a vice and squeezed ! It pains me to tell you that story accept (years later) triggers are born !!

    • Scott says:

      Glad to know I’m not alone Rob! It is so hard, in the moment, to interrogate my motives and justifications, but I can learn to do it. It just takes work and a continual effort to keep my eyes on God, not me.

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