Your Mistakes Are Yours, Not Someone Else’s

It’s hard to hear, but you know it’s true: if you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault. Relax, adults also have a hard time with this idea. So, I won’t press the issue too much with you. But you must know it, especially if your initial instinct is to blame others for what’s going wrong in your life.

It’s a “stretch goal” for all of us not to whine about our mistakes. Complaining, whining, and grumbling is a form of anger, albeit a subtle manifestation. The best place to find God’s mind on any anger is James 4:1, where he asked, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?” If you succumb to the temptation to get angry, you must ask the “cause question.”

The “why question” to your version of anger is an apparent place to begin, but I wonder how obvious the answer is to you (James 4:1-3). James says your anger comes from your passions, desires, and coveting, which is a threefold circularity problem of your heart tensions.

Your best course of action is not to look outward for an explanation for what is going wrong in your life. The best approach is to consider what your anger reveals about you? Sometimes not getting what you want, which is the context for anger, is the perfect thing to shape you into the person you should be.

Jesus ran into this “I’m not getting what I want” problem in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:42). He struggled with dying but finally submitted His life to His Father. His response is your best option. You may or may not get what you want, but there is one thing you must do: submit your life to God. If you do that, your anger will subside, and you’ll see how to respond to your disappointments.

Time to Reflect

1. What does your anger reveal about you?

2. Will you write out a specific and practical plan of how you will change? Will you share it with a trusted mentor?