When I look back at my life over the years, there were two things I hated about myself; impatience and quick anger. I remember my own level of impatience was so thick that if we had an appointment and you were even a minute late and you don’t apologize, you are in soup. My kind of the anger was the type that if you get me angry, I would let you have a taste of my venom and feel good about it but less than 30 minutes later, I would regret all I said or did immediately.My battle against this evil habits led me to pray and even fast all to no avail, I still derived pleasure in speaking my mind no matter how rude or insulting it was. My mantra was if you insult me, I’ll make sure you get a piece of my arsenal. According to me then Exodus 21:24 “an eye for an eye” was the order of the day and Luke 6:29 “if someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also” was not definitely not for me. I struggled with this habit until a wonderful friend sent me a message titled “Follow your wisdom, not your feelings” by Joel Osteen and I can tell you this message has changed my life forever. For me this is the most personal article I have ever written and may ever write but I am sure it will surely be a blessing to someone out there.
Following ‘your wisdom’ can be explained as doing what is right in any and every situation. According to Bishop Oyedepo, ‘wisdom is knowing what to do and doing it’. Thus, it is knowledge plus action that equals wisdom. On the other hand, ‘feelings’ are mere emotions that are determined by the immediate circumstances around us.
Joel Osteen explained in his message that dicipline is doing the right thing when you feel like doing the wrong thing. Making reference to 1 Corinthians 3:3 “you are unspiritual when you let ordinary impulses control your actions” (paraphrased). Impulses are desires, urges, drive and he explains that we should not let our feelings (impulses) run our lives.
Discipline can be very hard, not insulting that person that insulted you is hard, looking the other way when someone is speaking ill of your character is very hard but in the end it is worthwhile. He explains that it is when we do the hard things in life that God is building our character, when we are willing to apologize even though it wasn’t our fault that’s when we are growing up, when someone is rude to us and we just look the other way without getting offended and showing it that’s when we are really maturing.
I can tell you categorically that it is very hard to love people when they are not nice to us but if we only love those that love us, what makes us special.
I bought Nelson Mandela’s Autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” reading his story brings me to tears. How can a man forgive those that put him in jail for 26 years?. You don’t want to know the appalling conditions he was subjected to in jail, very cruel but he came out and forgave them wholeheartedly. What a human being. If Nelson Mandela came out of prison and acted on his feelings like I would have done and locked up all the white people that put him in jail, do you think South Africa would be one today? and what would have become of his legacy?
According to Joel Osteen, there are two types of pain: the pain of discipline (paying good for evil, not replying that insult, loving that person that doesn’t like you, not hating that person that disrespected you, forgiving that ex that broke your heart) and the pain of regret (paying evil for evil and later regretting it, replying that person that insulted you and later regretting all the mean things you said). The pain of discipline is miniscule (extremely small) compared to the pain of regret.
How many times have we acted on our emotions and said something we should not have said to someone and later on ends up hurting the person and damaging our relationship. Words are like eggs, once they are broken, its impossible to get them back together in one piece. Once you have said those mean things to that person, you can apologize all you want but what you said has been said, you can never unsay it. If you go around always speaking your mind like I used to, later on its going to affect your relationship with others.
According to Joel Osteen, God will only promote us as high as our character will take us, if your the type that always talks down on people you don’t like, you always insult those that insult you, God will not elevate you higher than a particular level.
Through out our lives, God will on purpose allow us go through certain situations to bring to light areas in our lives that we need to work on. God knew how impatient I was so he made me make friends with people that have no regard for time and most times I get angry and ask God to change them but it later dawned on me that God was trying to toughen me up a lil bit. It was like God was saying “change your self son before you ask me to change others”. Don’t spend your energy focusing on everyone around you, how they are this or that, instead focus on you and change you first.
1 Peter 4: 12 says “don’t be surprised at the very trial that you are going through, it is only to test your character” (paraphrased). When we go through pressure, it shows us what we are usually made of, brings to life impurities in our character, showing us areas we need to improve. The way human nature works is that we want everyone to change but most times God is using that person or that situation to do some work in us.
According to Psalms 94:13 “God has given us the power to stay calm in time of adversity” and that power is discipline.
We all have weaknesses and no one is perfect but there’s always room for improvement and that why in life we are going to be tempted the most in the areas of our weaknesses. We must learn to keep on growing especially in our weakest areas. Quit been ruled by your emotions and follow wisdom. Remember, we cannot control the circumstances that surround us but we can control our responses to them.
In conclusion, here are a few quotes to help pass the message intended across.
“Anger makes us strong, blind and impatient, and it leads us wrong; The strength is quickly lost; We feel the error long.” – Crabbe
“Speak when you are angry – and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” – Dr. Laurence J. Peter
“When anger rises, think of the consequences.” – Confucius
“Impatience can cause wise people to do foolish things. ” ― Janette Oke
“What good has impatience ever brought? It has only served as the mother of mistakes and the father of irritation.” ― S. Maraboli
“When we get impatient because something is taking too long, we should remember that Life waits on us a thousand times more than we wait on Life.” ― Laura Teresa Marquez
Vote of Thanks:
I would like to use this medium to thank Juliet S.O for sharing the Joel Osteen video with me and also for contributing to this write-up. God bless you dearly.
Follow your wisdom, not your feelings “Joel Osteen”: http://tinyurl.com/ovmecx5