Half-cocked? (06-18-18) Proverbs 20:25
My friend, may I ask you a question? Does your anger often result in a bad outcome? Do you find that bad situations open themselves up to an often “halfcocked” response to problems in your life?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
“Don’t go off halfcocked!” I heard that term often growing up, being a bit of a reactionary when things didn’t go my way. Whether it was my Mom or Dad, it didn’t matter. They both kept that little adage in their “parent’s holster” ready to draw it out whenever I began to stew about something, mutter, stutter and reach the nonsense level about something. I really didn’t understand fully what it meant back then; about the danger of walking around in that attitude in similar to the risk of walking around with a gun half-cocked. I knew they meant it to bring me back to my senses. Recently, however, I was reading an account of the battle of Gettysburg. It was from an officer’s diary where he described one of the major issues that he had with some of the raw recruits in his command was their habit of not fully cocking their muskets when the enemy was charging. It took a full, critical second, according to the officer, to finishing cocking the rifle. By that time it was too late.
Anger resulting in a bad outcome often has it’s source in bad situations that open themselves up to “halfcocked” responses.
Here’s a story: A man was riding on the train with his little boy. The boy was full of energy. He bounced on the seat, he ran up and down the aisle, and he yelled a lot. A woman passenger became upset with the little boy’s annoying actions. She said to herself, “Why doesn’t that man teach his son some manners? He just sits there and stares out the window, ignoring his son’s misbehavior.” Finally the woman could stand the boy’s actions no longer. With a firm voice she said to the father. “Sir, why don’t you make your son behave? He’s bothering everyone on the train!” With a startled look, the man returned from his deep thoughts to the reality of the angry woman facing him. He said, “I, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize he was disturbing everyone. You see, my wife, died yesterday, and her coffin is in the last car. We’re going back to where she was born to bury her body. I guess I just wasn’t thinking about what my son was doing.” (Source Unknown.)
Not having all the facts in any given situation can lead to miscalculation, misjudgment and even embarrassment. Sometimes those facts are easy to see and sometimes not. The point is, however, that facts are important, and you and I need to find them, assess them and apply them before expressing our emotions. The longer we take to examine the facts, the odds are we’re that much more unlikely to rush to judgment or go off halfcocked. Ask questions. Before you lash out verbally at someone, you’d do well to ask a few questions first. “Did I hear you right?” “What was your intention here?” “Am I getting the wrong impression?” “Is there a problem?” The more information you have about an event will often dictate into the ability to overcome anger before it gets started. Don’t go off halfcocked; it’s likely you’ll miss your target because you weren't prepared to shoot in the first place.
We pray. Heavenly Father, when our anger boils sometimes it’s just to late to control our emotions and we say and do things we didn’t mean to do. So often we have to live with the regret that we made a bad situation worse. But, the people we hurt Lord make it even worse. Forgive us when we strike out in anger and our blasts lead to hurting others, especially those who love us the most. In Jesus name we pray. Amen
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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God bless you for Jesus sake.