Hot-Headed! Does that describe you? Blow-ups! Is that your conflict resolution style? Quick-tempered! Is your reaction always a defensive one? Are the members of your family walking around on pins and needles because you could explode, and do it often? All the above imageries give need to the truths from today’s message: How to Stay Cool in Hot Places!
God gives instructions to the children of Israel to build sanctuary cities or cities of refuge for persons who were in trouble. These people had accidentally or sometimes intentionally murdered someone. Individuals could run to a city of refuge and they would be given at least a fair trial. They started out with just 3 cities in Israel. What is astonishing is that they ended up with a total of 42 cities because there were so many altercations. Can you believe human nature? Simply put: people were fighting each other and harming each other for no reason. This still happens in our homes nowadays. Check out what Proverbs 14:17 says about such behavior,
A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.
Foolishness is a by-product of divisions among people. Why? People get offered. People get hurt. Tempers flare. People want revenge or justice. Lack of judgment and rational is often prevalent. Wrongful actions arise. One acts with vengeance. Blood is shed.
In Deuteronomy 19: 6, the verse reads, “6 Otherwise, the avenger of blood might pursue him in a rage, overtake him if the distance is too great, and kill him even though he is not deserving of death, since he did it to his neighbor without malice aforethought.” What caught my heart was, or caught my attention was “lest the avenger of blood pursue the slayer,” listen to these words, “while his heart is hot,” or his anger is hot. He’s recognizing here that people who are upset don’t really ration good. They don’t really think things through well. Be careful when you have a hot heart. Watch out when you’re angry! When somebody does something to you, don’t allow your anger and your resentment to be so strong. That’s a dangerous thing.
In the first family that ever inhabited this earth. Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain’s heart got hot or angry toward his brother, his own brother, Abel. In fact, his heart gets so hot that he slays his brother. It is family attacking family as recorded in Genesis 4:8, “8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.”
The Bible didn’t say that it’s wrong to be angry. The Bible said, “Be angry”. That’s part of the emotion. We’re made in the image of God, and anger is an emotion that God has. So, it’s not – It’s impossible to not get angry. He said, “Be angry, but sin not.” Be angry, but sin not. Bad things can be avoided if one keeps a cool head when slighted? This fact is true:
Many people are in prison today for an unguarded moment!
You can get an angry heart or a hot heart about something, an injustice that happens to you, but you must learn to control your spirit. If you don’t watch out, your anger could lead to resentment. Resentment is anger that sticks around even after the heart has cooled down. Resentment is bitterness, ill will, ill feeling, irritation, a grudge, animosity, and rancor. We would call it bad blood, or a chip on your shoulder. These are the emotions that Jesus taught we must resist. We must not allow take root in our lives.
Resentment and bitterness impacted our story this morning concerning the Stradivarius violin. The mom’s actions prove this out as noted, “Then she took the cell phone and she handed it to her best friend that had helped her. She said, “I want you to film this.”
“This is for my sons and my daughter that would not help me and didn’t seem to care much about me.” She went on to say, “The only thing you seem to really care about is the Stradivarius violin that I own. You never call and ask about your mother, but you often inquire about the violin. So enjoy your inheritance.” And she took the Stradivarius violin and threw it into the bonfire. She burned a vintage violin, but she burned so much more with your children. Are you burning treasured relationships in your own world?
- Would you call yourself a Hot-Head? Quick-Tempered? Why?
- Do you struggle with resentment or bitterness in any way with anyone?
- Who do you need to forgive today and allow God to free your heart of hurt?
- What could you do to release these negative emotions and move in a healthy direction?
Our homes are our Stradivarius. Our families are our Stradivarius. Our marriages are our greatest treasure. Don’t throw that husband in the fire. Don’t throw that wife in the fire. ” Fight for your family” by controlling your spirit. To control your spirit is to control your words. While I can’t be responsible for what somebody else does to me, but I can be responsible for my reaction and what I do. Next time, stay cool in hot places. You can do it with God’s help!