Focus: Catch and release
Romans 12:18 (NKJV) If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Believe it or not, there are people who like to go fishing frequently–who either don’t even like the taste of fish—or can’t possibly eat all they catch. Just like there are people who are habitually annoyed—even though they don’t intend to become angry and may never act out in rage. What could fishing and anger have in common? Quite a bit.
Let’s have a look at Felix the fisherman. He hates fish but loves fishing. He has learned to manage his passion for the sport by employing the technique of “catch and release”. In case you have no knowledge of what that technique is—it’s the practice of reeling in a fish—carefully removing the hook and letting the fish go back into the wild.
When Felix first started fishing, he used to keep the fish he caught. He didn’t have any intention of eating them—he just liked showing off his catch to the neighbor guy and then he’d give the fish away. Felix really loved fishing and was so good at it—sometimes he ended up with more fish than he could get rid of. He gave so much fish to his friends—that after a while, they got kinda sick of it and weren’t interested in having him give them anymore. Felix kept bringing home all the fish he caught—but after a while–the refrigerator was a stinky mess.
Felix had to make a choice. Stop fishing or quit bringing home the fish. That’s when he decided to catch and release.
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People can argue, become annoyed, or angry out of habit, too. For some—this behavior can be like a sport. They toss out a line and if someone gives them a little activity—they get reel excited. Oops! I meant to say ‘real excited’.
Being the brunt of someone else’s anger can cause depression. But, a person who is depressed has a lot under the surface too. Some unsuspecting person can catch more than they bargained for. Without any notice, they might get dragged under ‘hook, line, and sinker’. Whichever end of the pole you’re on—it’s important to employ the same tactics as Felix. Learn to “catch and release”.
If you’re trying to overcome arguing, being annoyed, or angry—an important thing to learn, is not to hold onto your gripes too long. When you let one thing lead to another—a molehill becomes a mountain, and pretty soon you don’t even remember what the original issue was.
So what if something agitates you—it doesn’t mean you have to take ownership of it and let it ruin a day, or a career, or a marriage. You could just let it go.
And if you’re the one who’s acting out at other people’s expense—start paying attention to what’s going on around you. Look at what’s happening. If you have a problem with someone and you overstep your limits—stop yourself. Even if you think you’re in the right. Acting out anger is never the answer. Let it go. If you keep holding onto your grudges and making the people around you miserable, the whole situation is going to stink soon—if it doesn’t already. Everyone—yourself included, would be better off if you just released it.
Proverbs 29:11 says, A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.
If you are the victim of another person who wants to argue, be annoyed, or angry—you need to “catch and release”, too. As you are hit with a challenge—just as quickly—let it go. Don’t be tempted to jump into the ring and start throwing jabs. Let it go.
Another piece of advice is—don’t become involved in prolonging or enlarging a problem that doesn’t have to get bigger. When someone injures you, it’s a natural thing to want to defend yourself or return insult for insult…but Jesus said, if someone offends you and slaps you on the face—turn the other cheek. Don’t feel you have to have the last word.
I live in a city where tourists flock by the thousands every winter. The streets become congested and road rage is typical. I adopted a practice many years ago that helps me keep from becoming completely annoyed or angry when I’m driving. Instead of thinking of people as ‘stupid drivers’–I think of them as people who ‘need prayer’. I say, “Bless ‘em, God”, when someone does something in front of me that I think is stupid—like driving crazy slow or changing lanes without notice. The stupider the thing they do—the more I know they need prayer.
Declaration: I will find new strength as I stop arguing, becoming annoyed, and angry. I will start looking at people who offend me as though they’re waving a big white flag that says—“I need prayer”. I will know peace as I “catch and release”.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.