Psalm 39

My mind was in a rage, my thoughts were all aflame; I spoke out! (39:4)

At a moment of terrible, raging, flaming, emotion, at precisely the time when we are least capable of speaking with wisdom, what do we do? We speak, we write and send an email, we write an angry text, we post a status or comment that we will later regret.

An angry, flaming, mind is pathologically unable to see the path of truth. A raging mind is only concerned with itself. The ego seeks to soothe its own pain, not caring about anyone or anything else. The unsettled mind can justify any action, no matter how much damage it may cause.

The solution seems easy. When the mind is angry, stop acting and be still. Retreat into silence. Calm the mind. Easier said than done, because the angry mind doesn’t know that it is muddled. In fact, the angry mind thinks that it is thinking crystal clear thoughts. It think that it is seeing the truth far more clearly than a quiet mind, because the rage makes it feel powerful, like a supercharged engine.

Giving voice to an angry mind is a reflexive habit, and the only way to break a habit is to practice. We need to practice quieting our mind when our mind is already pretty quiet, because this is easy. Then we need to practice quieting our mind when our mind is a little bit agitated, because this is a small challenge. Then we need to practice calming our mind when we are excited, because this is a greater challenge. Only then will we have cultivated the skill to recognize and put out the flames of a raging fire of emotion.

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2 thoughts on “Psalm 39

    • Look at spoken anger, as a nail driven into a piece of wood. Even if an apology is given and accepted. When the nail of anger is removed from the wood. The scar will remain.

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