Please read this to the end. It’s not what you think.
I got angry at my wife this morning in an argument. I left in the car to avoid any further angry dialogue. While driving, I was having a very angry “day-dream” about how she had hurt me so and how angry I was at her. BUT…I was able to remember that my job/focus at this point of the conflict was not primarily to “behave right”. But, was instead, to BELIEVE RIGHT! Sound familiar?
Well, my angry daydream wouldn’t stop for maybe 20 minutes as hard as I tried to dismiss it. It was like a fog preventing me from shifting my focus to BELIEVING RIGHT! Eventually, the fog cleared and I was (1) able to focus on what I was believing that was making me so angry and (2) to compare it to what God says is True.
Well, I figured out (1): What was making me so angry was that I was relying (as I do so often) on my WIFE to provide assurance of my righteousness (my status as a good and worthwhile person) by saying certain words of appreciation that I thought were warranted. And she was not providing this up to what I think I needed and deserved. As for (2): God says that any other human being, including spouse, is NOT an adequate source to which to turn to provide my sense of righteousness. God Himself is the ONLY source for this reassurance of righteousness. So, the whole problem in this argument was that I had left the Truth of God. I was requiring my sweet wife to provide for me what only God can reliably provide (assurance that I am a good and worthwhile person)
I sought her out and told her this. My angry feelings left me. I sought her out to tell her that the argument had been my fault. I had remembered the Truth and it had, once again SET ME FREE!!!!!!! Argument OVER! She asked me if she could make me a cappucino :-).
Wow, no wonder Jesus said that our primary work is to believe rightly rather than do rightly. It is hard work sometimes. But the joy is huge.