Yesterday I saw a shop assistant looking very grumpy. She had offense written all over her face. I don’t she thought it amusing at all when I asked where her smile was. The look I received said it all. ‘How am I supposed to smile when I’ve been treated like that?’ But I was being very serious. If someone does something you don’t like, if they insult you or reprimand you without reason, it shouldn’t be your problem. Say, for instance, my colleague says that I am as fat as a hippo, I can choose my reaction. I can decide whether I want to be affected by it or not. I can inspect his motivation and decide whether there is any substance in what he says. If I am overweight and I decide that I do actually need to lose weight, I can start eating healthy foods. If I am not overweight it can be that he is reacting either to something I said, or something someone else said. He could be teasing or he could be malicious. Whatever the reason, you should think about your reaction and never react emotionally as far as you can.
Proverbs 29:11, “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.”
Proverbs 15:13, “A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is crushed.”
Proverbs 15:18, “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”
Proverbs 25:28, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and without walls.”
Proverbs 16:32, “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
Joshua 1:9. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
God needs us to have control over our emotions, especially the negative ones. How are we going to be his ambassadors. How can we claim to be made in God’s image if we do not have self-control, which just happens to be one of the fruit of the Spirit. James 3:9-10, “with it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” Romans 12:2,”Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
It makes such a big difference to our own souls if we don’t react out of anger or spite. Just imagine this: Someone insults you, throws out a careless remark and instead of walking around with a long face all day, you just smile and go about whatever you do as you would do when you are happy. Don’t allow him to get inside your head. Just think of his reaction. He won’t understand what is going on. He might think that you have lost some of your cognitive sense, but he definitely isn’t going to understand. 1 Thessalonians 5;16-19, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” I cannot feel bad if I’m smiling. There’s something about smiling, and I mean really smiling brightly, that you can’t fake. You simply have to feel better if you smile. You must really practice not taking offense. It must be a conscious decision. So the outcome will be that you are feeling good and can carry on doing good things and praising God. It’s hard to praise when you’re angry or upset. Proverbs 25:21-22, “If our enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the Lord will reward you.” Now who doesn’t want to be rewarded by God?
Let’s use self-control and not throw tantrums like children, let us keep rejoicing, get into the habit of rejoicing and praising, no matter how bad the circumstances. Don’t rent out space in your head to anyone except the Holy Spirit.