Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. Eccl. 7:9 (ESV)

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. Prov. 14:9 (ESV)

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. James 1:19-20 (NLT)

Heavenly Father, thank you for using heart-convicting images when confronting us with our bad attitudes. I certainly cringe at the thought of being a fool whose “bosom” provides lodging and hospitality for anger. And I take no pleasure in the notion of “exalting folly” by my “hasty temper.” Forgive me Lord, and help me be a better steward of the important and powerful emotion of anger.

So, what contexts have piqued my need for your Fatherly warnings? When I’m driving and in a hurry: Father, forgive me for committing “heart-homicide” toward slow driving, smart-phone-talking, rubbernecking drivers. I get irritated, and think and say things that neither honor you, nor get me to my destination sooner. I can either leave earlier or trust that you are sovereign, or both.

There’s more. When promised delivery times and agreed upon appointments aren’t kept. When flights are delayed and connections are missed. When everybody shows up at Costco or my favorite restaurant at the same time: It’s one thing to be appropriately disappointed, but another to seethe and “cop” a bad attitude. Father, by your grace, topple my control idol that rears its ugly head too often.

When people make choices that inconvenience me or complicate my life. When I do something cool or kind for someone, and it’s not even acknowledged: O Father, writing these things out convicts me about my self-centeredness, and reminds me how often I look beyond Jesus to other stuff and stories for my peace and joy.

Granted, it’s been busier summer for me than usual, but you promise grace I haven’t bigger been drawing on. Forgive me. Thank you for the convicting work of your Spirit, and the consoling and transforming power of the gospel. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ kind and loving name.