Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Warning: Unfunny post to follow! (that's just so those of you who are 'only in it for the funny' can stop reading right here)

Something I've been struck by over the past few months is the concept of self-control, and how that requires a lot more effort than you think. Essentially what I mean is that people tend to act in response to how other people act, rather than how they might actually feel about a situation, myself included.

Now before I go on, I'm not writing this with a specific situation in mind. There are a lot of situations lately in which I've seen people respond both very well and very inappropriately to a situation because of someone else's reaction or response. I don't know, I guess what I'm saying is that in a perfect world, when someone "wrongs" us or someone does something that we "perceive" to be wrong, we should be able to STOP first. Think about it. Don't react.....yet anyway. I want to get better at that. I want to be able to thoroughly think through things before responding rather than responding emotionally and in most cases, regretting some, if not all, of what I say.

Psalm 4 is a chapter I've loved for a long time, and all the time I get new meaning out of it. In regards to the contents of this post, Psalm 4:4 is something I've kind of been meditating on and thinking about. Here it is in a few different versions, as I like to versionize (made up word) myself when I focus on specific passages.

Psalm 4:4

New King James Version:
"Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still."

King James Version:
"Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still."

New International Version:
"In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent."

New American Standard Bible:
"Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still."

New Living Translation:
"Don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Think about it overnight and remain silent."

I like reading the different versions because for me, wording is important, and sometimes it helps to see things phrased differently for me to get a better and more complete understanding, what what! (that was me trying to inject some funniness into an otherwise funnyless post)

One thing I really appreciate about this verse is that it gives permission to be angry. I think sometimes that when we think of self-control, we think that that means controlling the feelings, but I think it's more about how we control our actions based on those feelings.

I think the New Living Translation is the cutest translation! Mainly the part that says to think about it overnight. That might be taking a little creative license by being so specific about the length of time you should think about something before acting, cause y'all know we can all stay mad about something for longer than a night, holla!

On a slightly related note, I've talked recently with some friends about how our (and not to use the word "generation", but) generation is more self-assessing and evaluating than our parents' generation (in general). Lots of people I know are interested in getting to the bottom of issues in ourselves, exploring past experiences that have shaped how we see things - healthy or unhealthy, and trying to deal with it and let the knowledge of those things change how we can see things in the future.

Anymountains, I just thought I'd write about what I'd been thinking about. Love you!

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