DO NOT LOSE YOUR COOL!
I have recently developed interest in basketball games because of the opportunity of watching weekly NBA games broadcast on Kwese TV free sport channel. It is fast becoming one of the sports I will like to try out and see how good I can be on the court. In a recent match played between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Philadelphia 76ers, I had valuable lessons to learn besides the dribbles, shooting and blocking of the ball that went on in the game. In the third quarter of the game, the Philadelphia 76ers were leading with as many as twenty points and were the obvious favorites to win the game until an incident occurred, a flagrant foul was committed by a 76er. Two star players, a Trail Blazer point forward and a 76er center, were up against each other, and then one of the players pushed the other down on the floor.
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This infringement was spotted by the referee who brought the match to a halt, to ascertain from video evidence the gravity of the foul committed. The replay showed clearly how the 76er player had pushed the Trail Blazer player down in such flagrant manner, so he was suspended and sent to the bench for the remaining minutes of the quarter. The momentum of the game changed from this time onwards resulting to the Portland Trail Blazers taking dominance of the game and cutting back on their score deficit. The eventual reintroduction of the 76er star player in the fourth and final quarter could not help the situation as he found it difficult to recover his impressive form and was unable score points when he had the opportunity to do so. In the end, the Portland Trail blazers won the game by 114 points to the Philadelphia 76ers’ 110 points.
Why did the 76er star player commit such flagrant foul? Video footage of action about a minute before the incident showed how the Portland Blazer player had shoved the 76er star man in his half and made him fall to the ground. This incident was not spotted by the referee when it happened and so play continued. It was in obvious dissatisfaction that a foul call had not been made that the 76er player lost his cool and took retaliatory action when he had the ball in his opponents half. Well, he was not lucky to escape the foul call and had to pay dearly for losing his cool and letting down his team when they needed him most. If only he had brushed aside his anger and vengeful instinct, he would have ended the game in glory as the game’s highest scorer and a nomination to the NBA’s All star game. I am happy you have not also lost your cool, but have read my story to this point, and I wish to congratulate you. Can we blame this Philadelphia 76er star player for his action? Do we not also lose our cool at home, at the workplace, in social gatherings, and so on, and pay dearly for doing so? We sure need to discover how to gain mastery of our emotions when faced with situations that tempt us to lose our cool.
Every human being is bound to face situations of mistreatments, annoyance, and even injustice from other people, and everyone has the tendency also to react to these circumstances in manners to show their dissatisfaction. More often than not, even the best of people are susceptible to lose their cool, react angrily and seek vengeance for the mistreatment and harm done to them. We know that even the man who was known as the meekest man on earth also lost his cool in the heat of provocation. Yes, Moses, the great leader of the nation of Israel was renowned for his meekness (Numbers 12:3). He put up with the insults and verbal attacks of the Israelites as he led them out of Egypt to their land. However, there came the time his tempers got the best of him, and in annoyance of the continuous murmurings and complaints of the multitude of people who thronged him demanding for water in the wilderness, he harshly rebuked the people, calling them a stiff necked people and struck the rock to which God had directed him to speak to and let water pour out of it for the people. He displeased God in that moment because he had not followed God’s instruction when he lost his tempers (Numbers 20:7-12). He suffered the consequences of that reaction because God would not let him enter the promised land with his fellow countrymen. It is also worth noting that many of the Israelites, the generation of those who whined and complained in the wilderness, could not come into the land God had promised and was leading them to. We see that there are no pleasant consequences when we fail to maintain calmness and composure in the face of provocation. When we react by instinct, giving vent to our tempers, the results are always catastrophic. Let us learn from these examples.
David, the famous king of Israel, also had to deal with such situation of provocation when he was insulted and abused by Nabal. He had helped Nabal watch over his flock of sheep and shepherds in the times he was running from King Saul who was bent on taking his life. David and his men took refuge in the wilderness, hiding in caves, and when they saw Nabal’s flock of sheep and herdsmen, they did not attack or rob them, but rather provided security for them from all marauding bands. After they parted ways, David heard about Nabal’s end of season party which he celebrated with his shepherds and household, and he sent messengers to get a gift from Nabal. The manner of Nabal’s response to David’s request angered David so much that he lost his cool. Nabal not only refused to give David any gifts but called him a fugitive, and this got David to mobilize his men and set out to attack Nabal for this mistreatment.
It was Abigail, Nabal’s wife’s prompt intervention when she sensed danger in her husband’s remarks and took gifts for David and his men before they arrived at Nabal’s estate, that saved Nabal that day. David would have committed murder that day, he and his men would have killed Nabal and his household in vengeance, if not for Abigail’s thoughtfulness. That is how bad it can get when we lose our cool. Many have become murderers who never set out to be such. in the heat of provocation, they had gotten into a fight, and hit someone or shot them to death. It is when the anger dies down that they discover the gravity of their reaction, and end up living with the consequence of their action. Some have to serve a jail term the rest of their lives and are haunted by the crime they had committed at the instance of a provocation. Many have lost their lives at such times because they lost their cool! May we not lose our cool, for we may not tell how much damage we will cause ourselves and others when we do so.
Psychologists believe every human being exhibits at least five minutes of madness daily. These are times people let go of their rationality and give vent to their temperamental instincts of anger and vengefulness. It is at such times people tend to shout at others in moments of disagreements. it is at these times people abuse others and get into a fight. How can we then keep our cool at these times? Our Lord Jesus Christ gives us the solution to this problem in His admonition in Luke 6:27-31. He tells us to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us. He tells us to “bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you (Luke 6:28). We must remember this charge of our Lord Jesus Christ in those moments of mistreatments and provocation we face in the hands of others. He further tells us this: “To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either” (Luke 6:29). When we heed this admonition of our Lord Jesus Christ and begin to practice it, we will discover before long, that we no longer have the five minutes of madness daily event and we will be able to keep our cool in all situations.
Furthermore, the Almighty God commands us to desist from taking vengeance on people who mistreat us. He tells us in Leviticus 19:18, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD”. His word in Romans 12:17-21 says: “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay’, says the Lord. ‘Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him: if he thirsts, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head’. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Thus, we must be obedient to the commands of our God and maker and keep our cool, trusting God to vindicate us in all situations we face. We have to trust in God who has asked us to leave vengeance of all evil done to us in His hand. He is able to punish the wicked who delights to see us suffer. He tells us this in Deuteronomy 32:35: “Vengeance is Mine, and recompense: their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them”. Let us trust God enough to not take the laws into our hands. We know that when we lose our cool we take laws into our hands be seeking to get even for the wrong done, and even the laws of our societies are against unlawful conducts as these, but much more we will be disobeying God by doing so.
You may have tried again and again to keep your cool at moments of provocation but always found you lost it, there is a way to overcome this situation in your life. You have to be born again! Yes, when you are born again, by trusting your life in Jesus Christ and wholly surrendering your will to His, you will have the power to overcome negative emotional reactions. The power of God, through the Holy Spirit of God that comes to dwell in you the moment you surrender your life to Jesus, will enable you to keep your cool no matter the situation. This is the reality every Christian experiences every day, and therefore have no five minutes or more of madness! You too can overcome anger and emotional outbursts, and that is by your living the supernatural life. What you must now do is to come to God at this time and pray to Him, asking him to forgive you of all sins of the past and present as you turn away from them, and to give you new life through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as atonement for your sins. Make a pledge to follow Jesus, and live in obedience to His word for the rest of your life. Pray for the Holy Spirit to indwell your heart and fill you with supernatural ability to handle situations of life from this time forward. Talk to God in prayer right now and He will hear you and save your soul.
Will you turn to Christ now?
“Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.” If you have this prayer with the whole of your heart, then be assured God has heard you and saved you. You now need to seek out a church around you where you will get to know God more and live the new life you have received by Christ death and resurrection. God bless you.
May God answer your prayers, grant you His salvation, make you a new creature through Jesus Christ. May God grant us supernatural power to keep our cool in the face of mistreatments and provocation in Jesus Christ name. Amen.
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