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Old Yeller

August 14, 2015
Old Yeller

Charity...“is not easily provoked”
I Corinthians 13:5

The pot is boiling over on the stove while the phone is ringing, the dog is peeing on the floor, and the kids are running through it. Airsoft BBs are being dumped all over the kitchen after the kids wasted their dinner, when the dinner I made was left out all night to spoil. The garbage can is overflowing, and the neighbor is on the phone complaining about something my child said to her child that was not acceptable. Ugh!

I politely end the conversation on the phone, and then I yell!


I yell. One morning I asked my husband, “Why do our kids yell so much? Why is it so loud here?” He said, “Because you yell.”

Simple. To the point. That’s my husband’s style.

“Okay, I suppose you are right. So do I just stop yelling?” I asked in an annoyed tone as if I did not want to face my own shortcomings again.

“YES. If you want them to be more peaceful, you must exemplify peace,” he explained with such ease, like this would be an easy fix or something.

I get this feeling that comes—almost like I will POP! It is a very bad habit, all this yelling. I have a good excuse for how I came to be a yeller, but it is just an excuse much like the excuses of others who are prone to yell.

Habits are hard to break because is it nearly impossible to admit that our habits are sin against God and our family. But with Christ all things are possible. If we want to honor God and have a peaceable family, we must break the yelling habit.

Christ died to set us free from the vices of our flesh. We have the power to walk after the Spirit. We just choose to walk after the flesh when we react in our emotions. It is much easier.

Here is what the Bible teaches us about walking after the flesh and about the fruit of the Spirit:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;

Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:

of the which I tell you before,
as I have also told you in time past,
that they which do such things
shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law.

And they that are Christ’s have
crucified the flesh with the
affections and lusts.

If we live in the Spirit,
let us also walk in the Spirit.

Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another,
envying one another.

Galatians 5:19–26

I believe the Word of God with my whole heart. I know that when it commands us to do something, that means it is doable. It may take time to form a new habit, but habits are nothing more than a number of individual choices piled up on one another. I can choose today to walk in the spirit of peace. I can choose again tomorrow, and somewhere down the road I will have a peace habit.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Philippians 4:13

Easily Provoked

The word provoked means to give rise to, to stir up the emotions, or incite anger. When you are provoked you are allowing things to elicit extreme emotion or anger. To be easily provoked would mean that things incite anger or emotion quickly in your spirit. It is a feeling of frustration that comes over you in a sudden wave. The result is a quick reaction . . .

  • A quick sharp stare (the EVIL eye)
  • A cold front (the COLD shoulder)
  • An outburst (yelling)
  • A clench of the fist
  • A slam of a door
  • A hanging up of the phone
  • A stomp of the foot
  • A pound of the hand on a table
  • A striking hand
  • A crying fit
  • A nasty comeback
  • A rolling of your eyes
  • A silent seethe with a giving of the cold shoulder (the Worst)

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2 comments on “Old Yeller”

    1. Hi Romana, Erin is encouraging her readers to develop a habit slowly, but surely, of making the conscious decision and effort to respond to situations in a calm, Christ-like manner. "I can choose today to walk in the spirit of peace. I can choose again tomorrow, and somewhere down the road I will have a peace habit."