Anger: The New Normal

I’ve noticed that anger seems to be the new normal. Earlier this week, I sat in my car at a red light with my blinker indicating I planned to turn right, and a horn blared behind me. In Kentucky, a driver may turn right at a red light, if there is no oncoming traffic. However, I noticed a truck speeding toward the intersection. Had I turned when the irritated driver behind me wanted me to move, I could have been killed.

The offended driver shifted lanes and at the next red light, he shook his fist at me, and shouted while we waited. I’m glad the closed windows kept me from hearing his words. When he drove away, my heart pounded, but I also felt sympathy for him. He must carry a heavy burden for a minor delay to ignite such a temper tantrum, and so, I lifted a prayer for him and those in his life.

I see the same behavior reported every day on the news. People are on edge, and tempers explode in an instant. I am thankful the furious driver didn’t pull out a gun and shoot me. Such an incident happened last year at a rest stop on I-65, five miles from my home. 

Wednesday’s incident caused me to wonder what the Bible says about anger and how to we should respond. Below are some of my favorite verses.

Proverbs 15-1





















As Christians, we can’t allow anger to be our normal behavior. I hope and pray my actions, and maybe more importantly, my reactions to others’ behavior demonstrate evidence that the Holy Spirit lives within me. When I fail, I not only risk losing an opportunity to draw others to the light of Jesus, but I also grieve the Holy Spirit. We live in a broken world, and our only hope is Jesus Christ.

I pray others see the fruit of the Spirit in my life. “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace patience, kindness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. Against these things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23fuit

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Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

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