Got a Short Fuse?

bomb

While 22-year-old British professional mover Sam Curry was clearing furniture from an old garage near Coventry and loading it into his moving van, he uncovered a mysterious thing wrapped inside a black bag.

The odd-looking object turned out to be a German incendiary bomb from the World War II era—but at first, Curry didn’t know what it is was. Curious about its identity, he started shaking it.

Then—thinking it could be a bomb, Curry put it down and “Googled” it on his smart phone. Sure enough, he found an image of a bomb—identical to the object sitting on the garage floor.

Immediately, he ran out of the garage and called the police. Minutes later, the bomb squad arrived, examined the explosive device and safely removed it. The police questioned the family—but they had no idea how the bomb got inside their garage.

Fortunately, it never exploded—and nobody was injured.

Unlike the old bomb that never detonated, an angry person with a short fuse can erupt anywhere at any time. When anger-fueled explosions occur, people often get hurt.

So, what fuels wrong anger? Circumstances twist. Emotions churn. Tempers flare. Voices get loud. Words attack. People go berserk.

The Bible exposes and warns against the dangers of wrong anger:

“A quick-tempered man does foolish things. A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly” (Proverbs 14:17, 29). Angry people act foolishly and carelessly.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. A hot-tempered man stirs ups dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel” (Proverbs 15:1,18). Angry people act rudely and divisively.

“Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32). Angry people act impulsively and recklessly.

Do you have a short fuse—and get ticked off in a hurry? If so, consider taking seven steps:

Next time you want to fly off the handle, stop yourself. Check your anger fuse. Refuse to slam out and hurt others. Speak calmly, patiently and gently. Respond graciously. If necessary, call a time out and walk away. Reconnect later when you can talk calmly.

Nobody can take those steps—or make those choices for you. It’s up to you to think wisely, choose quickly and do whatever it takes to avoid another angry outburst!

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Learning to Wait God’s Way

Waiting in Line

I’m a fairly patient man—but I don’t like waiting in line.

For that matter, nobody I know enjoys waiting. But we wait anyway—because we can’t avoid it. We often find ourselves sitting or standing somewhere, waiting for someone or something.

We wait at grocery stores and drive-thru windows. Stop lights and crosswalks. Busy airports and crowded subways. Italian restaurants and taco trucks.

Waiting isn’t easy. It’s hard for us to slow down and wait in our fast-moving world.

It can be aggravating if you’re in a hurry, exasperating if you’re running late and frustrating when you can’t do anything about it. But God doesn’t look at waiting like that.

God sees waiting as something more than just a worrisome thing we have to do every day. Believe it or not, God says waiting is a good thing. He views it from a different perspective.

Waiting requires us to stop when we’d rather go faster. It refocuses us to see interruptions as significant pieces of God’s plan for our day. It reminds us to enjoy God’s presence, receive his peace and discover his purposes.

Long ago, the wise prophet Isaiah wrote to some people who were tired of waiting for their circumstances to change:

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope [wait] in the LORD will renew their strength … they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31).

Slowly but surely, we can learn how to wait God’s way—just as the warrior-king David did. He didn’t like waiting any more than you and I do, but he discovered how to do it.

As a man, David learned to wait patiently. He wrote, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1).

As a shepherd, David learned to wait confidently. He testified, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2).

As a warrior, David learned to wait expectantly. He believed, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock …” (Psalm 62:5-7).

As a king, David learned to wait continually. He encouraged, “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8).

Friend, no matter your circumstances, you can rely on God for strength and stamina as you discover how to wait God’s way—patiently, confidently, expectantly and continually!