“A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood.”
See this pretty plant smothered with pink flowers?
Yeah. That one. It’s called a gas plant.
(No, I’m not making this up.)
The flowers contain some sort of oil that on hot days can be encouraged to burn with a bit of a popping sound when touched with a flame. (I’ve always wanted to try it – maybe this will be the year.) I’ve read that in hotter climates, the whole thing can actually spontaneously combust!
Now, that’s quite the ignition factor.
Some people are like that, too. It doesn’t take much for their emotions to light up and then, watch out! Rantings and ravings and fur flying all over the place.
Are you a ‘quarrelsome person’?
Do your emotions have a tendency to spew venom at the slightest provocation?
Now, don’t get me wrong. All of us lose our tempers from time to time. And we should – some things are just plain wrong, and they get under our skin legitimately.
But there’s a big difference between losing your temper occasionally and being a gas plant, ready to blow up at the slightest provocation.
The presence of God within our lives sure helps with this ignition factor. God’s character is patient. He is called ‘long suffering’ by some of the ancient prophets and writers, meaning that He has a high tolerance for our shenanigans because of His love for us.
The fact that the character of God is patient and full of loving kindness is a big comfort for we who struggle with our ignition factor because this character trait can be built into us as we follow the guidelines and principles outlined in Biblical teaching. Just because we have a short fuse doesn’t mean we have to go through life in permanent spontaneous combustion mode.
There is power to change.
I don’t want to be known for being quarrelsome. I want to be known as calm and collected.
(Um, yeah. Still working on that one.)
But as we work at following the example of Jesus and the instructions in the Life Manual, and participate in the regeneration of our minds and habits that comes with salvation, we will get there.
Pursue a life marked by peace with me?
Father, it’s so easy for us to get our feathers ruffled and lose our cool, blowing up at circumstances or at others around us. Help us to actively seek Your peace, and pursue a life marked by patience and compassion. Amen.