READ: Ephesians 4:26-31

Before I got into rock climbing I always assumed that only folks with superhuman strength qualified for the sport. Once I got into it, however, I learned that great climbers are marked more by the deftness of their footwork than some overabundance of upper body strength. They learn to use and trust their feet without a platform. They know that even the smallest footholds make it easy to climb up a cliff.

Anger isn’t always loud. It doesn’t always need a major catalyst. It’s easy to cross the line from safe to sin, and controlled to chaos.

We can't always control our circumstances, but we can always control how we respond to them. If you’re anything like me, that ‘r’ word was the toughest of my dad’s oft-repeated wisdom for me to heed. Reacting is far simpler. It’s immediate. It’s our gut instinct. Just give into impulse, without thought. But, as my dad labored so long to teach me, Jesus calls us to respond.

Turn the other cheek. Resist the urge to react. Our enemy is powerful, but even he needs sure footing in order to impact the way we walk with Christ. When we lose control, even slightly, the enemy gains the advantage he needs. His foothold may be small, but like a world-class climber, he doesn’t need much to climb the cliff.

So, the next time you find your buttons being pushed just ask yourself -

Am I reacting to instinct, or responding as a follower of Christ?

PRAY: Jesus, thank you for your unending grace and the patience with which you always respond to me. Help me to embody that same grace when I find myself prone to anger. Help me trust that You are always in control so I may respond like You when I feel like I’ve lost it.