Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tempering My Anger

Hello, my name is Scott and I have an anger problem. Those that know me from my teenage and twenty-something years do not find that very revealing. Hopefully, prayerfully those who know me now may be at least a little surprised. Like alcoholics and drug addicts, I consider myself to be RECOVERING from anger.

I am still the same person I was 20 plus years ago. I still have the same passions. I thought I had grown enough that those feelings would not pressure me. I was wrong.

This October, I began volunteering as an assistant basketball coach. Basketball is by far my favorite sport to participate in, so I thought, why not coach. While I have not lost my cool and become a Bobby Knight or Wimp Sanderson on the sidelines, I can feel the frustration building up inside of me. When the calls do not go the way I think they should, when the players are not paying attention to the coaches, much more when they are clueless that they are in the game, I feel that old familiar rise.

But, I must keep control. The head coach is a young man from our congregation. Other parents in the stands know I am a Christian (a preacher as well). I rotate as a speaker on a local TV show, so there could be some from the opposing team that know who I am as well. If I lose my cool court-side, what will other's think about Christ? and Christianity?

What do I do?
1. I look for the positives. Are our boys trying? Are they showing signs of improvement over the last game? Are they playing with passion? If not all of them, are some of them?
2. I pray and thank God I am not a referee. At last night's game, one of the refs is also a leader at an area congregation of God's people. I know he tried to be fair. Referees are human, they make mistakes, and they make good calls.
3. I sit on the bench to coach. I talk with the players about to go in the game and remind them of their responsibilities. I talk with the players who come out of the game and try to encourage their strengths and kindly point out where they need to improve.
4. I make notes for the head coach. Where each player (the team) can make changes.

As I think about it more, there are some ways I can apply similar principles to the rest of life's frustrating situations. 1. Look for positives, 2. Pray, 3. Take a seat, and 4. Write things down.

"Be angry and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent." Ps 4:4 (esv)



Daniel & Martha Howell said...

Nice picture... I never knew you were so angry... You were always cool Uncle Scott to me. Helpful post!

Anonymous said...

It is nice to know that I am not the only one.!

Anonymous said...

Saw a church sign this morning after taking my little one to school. Should have paid closer attention to it. It said: A closed mouth has no room for a foot.

Scott said...

Daniel, Thanks for saying I am the "cool" uncle. I have calmed down over the years, I do not know if it is age, experience, becoming more Christlike or a combination of the three.

Anon 1, We are not alone!

Anon 2, There were times in my past where the taste of shoe leather or toe-jam was a regular part of my diet. Take note of these verses:

"Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue, keeps himself out of trouble." Prov 21:23

"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Prov 12:18