The Boy and the Fence
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. So, one day, his dad gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper he must hammer a nail into the back of their fence.
The first day the boy had driven over 75 nails into the fence. The second day just a few more. By the third day he drove nearly 150 nails into the fence in one day. That's when the boy realized his anger was causing him alot of work.
The next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails he hammered daily gradually began to lessen. The boy discovered that it was easier to control his temper than to drive nails into the fence.
Finally, the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his dad about it and his dad suggested that now the boy should pull one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
After a few months passed, the little boy was finally able to tell his dad that all the nails were gone.
The dad took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He told his son, "You have done well, son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same." As the dad looked at his son he continued, "When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."
What I have learned:
The next time I get angry with someone and I'm about to speak, I need to ask myself if there is a way to say what I want to say in a tactful manner.
Most times, the habit of reacting angrily is just that --- a habit you learned when you were young and haven't questioned since. You might have become blind to the effect it has on your life.
It is really so that the world reflects back your own attitude. If you constantly wonder why people are angry at you, maybe.... it is YOU who treated them with anger first!
What I have learned:
I need to listen to the tone of my voice and try, really try, to speak tactfully to someone who I am angry with. If I know this will be difficult to do, then I need to write the words down first, read what I've written, and if it seems tactful, I need to rehearse it in my mind.
I need to teach my mind, intentionally, to use respectful words. I have used harsh, cruel words for years to intimidate or as a way of standing up for myself. But now, I'm taking the first step by admitting that I handled things in the wrong manner and I am willing to change to become a better person by trying to control my anger so that I can do my part to make this world a better place.
I believe, once I control my anger and teach my mind to use respectful words then, I just might find, life feels a bit nicer because people aren't angry at me anymore.
Psalm 37-8 Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper ---
it only leads to harm. NLT
Heavenly Father, I know I have problems with my temper. At times, I am very easily offended when it is unnecessary. Allow Your Son, Jesus Christ, to walk with me and teach me how to control my anger and to have compassion, patience and understanding with others. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen. Thank You Father, for I trust You have heard my prayer and Jesus will be walking with me on this beginning today.