25 August 2010

Anger Management

God taught me a lesson yesterday, a very humbling one.

I left the house yesterday afternoon fuming mad. My son Joaquin had not finished his handwriting seatwork, giving me varied excuses instead ranging from "I went to the bathroom" to "I was watching Ms. Universe." I became frustrated because his brother had finished his share of work hours before, and yet he hadn't. I shouted (yes, I went there), and dragged my eldest daughter out the door to bring her to MAPE Class.

Hot-headed and clearly not thinking well, I was caught off guard when a MMDA officer in blue flagged me down. I politely asked what I did wrong, and he said I'd been caught swerving on a double yellow line.

My mouth said I didn't see the yellow line because another car was blocking my way, but my heart told me why I wasn't able to see it.

My anger was all I could see.

I had been so consumed by my feelings of frustration that I did not pay attention to what was happening in front of me. The Bible cautions us on the consequences of anger and what we should do instead:
Psalm 37:8 (New International Version)
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; 
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
Proverbs 29:11 (New International Version)
A fool gives full vent to his anger, 
but a wise man keeps himself under control.
I felt like a fool, shouting at my son and letting anger foster in my heart. I was caught, and I was so ashamed.

So ashamed, in fact, that I teared up as I handed my license to the MMDA officer and accepted the punishment. I wasn't crying over a ticket. I was crying because God used that incident to show me what lies in my heart, and I didn't like what I saw. Bless Mr. MMDA's soul -- he saw this distraught lady on the wheel, and let me go without issuing a warning or a ticket.

But I didn't need a ticket. I had learned my lesson.

I prayed so hard, repented my sin, and rebuked the evil in me. I later hugged my son, and apologized. Lord help me, it will never happen again.

But I look at Twitter, Facebook, TV and the newspaper now and all I see is anger over the hostage crisis last Monday. Anger directed at the hostage taker, the media, and the PNP. I must admit that I too felt what everyone felt watching the events unfold live on the TV screen. But again, should we (the nation) let those feelings foster in our hearts?

Proverbs 29:8 (New International Version)
Mockers stir up a city, 
but wise men turn away anger.
We have to move past our initial reaction, because it might lead this country in a downward spiral that we wouldn't be able to stop. Roland Mendoza himself felt so much injustice that it led him to drastic measures which ended tragically. What makes us any different if we let anger consume us?
Psalm 4:4 (New International Version)
In your anger do not sin; 
when you are on your beds, 
search your hearts and be silent. 
How great is our God that he is forgiving! He is our example of how we should conduct ourselves in these trying times.
Psalm 103:8 (New International Version)
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, 
slow to anger, abounding in love. 
I pray for the victims of this tragedy, and grieve for their loved ones. I pray too for Mr. Mendoza and his family. I pray for the government, the police and the media. I pray for the nation of Hong Kong. I pray for our nation. I pray for you, reader, as well as for me. I pray that we seek the Lord as we learn our lessons, speak with kindness, and reach out in love.
James 1: 19-21 (New International Version)
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.


  1. Monica, it is so easy to be mad. It is our scape when things are not the way we wanted them to be. I give much special credit for home schooling your children. That is a lot of work, you are so attached and very concerned. You have expectations. You are an amazing super woman. Give yourself a lot of credit. When situations do not go your way, just think, that this too will passed. So why get angry! Life goes on, angry or not, but it is ok, you have your family to listen when you need to vent out. Keep smiling!

  2. mama pray to god and say sorry what you did and say sorry to joaquin

    1. HAHAHAHA i remember saying that when i was younger


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