“Be careful of that rifle son,” Dad said, “it has a ‘hair trigger!”
As a young man growing up, we were part of a rifle club, and one night a week we’d go to the local school gym and target practice with 22-calibre target rifles, shooting into target traps at the end of the building. It was a great time with Dad and it gave him an opportunity to train us in gun safety and marksmanship.
This particular week, I heard his words, but didn’t think about their significance… I began to get down into a prone shooting position, but my finger was not quite safely on the trigger guard, it slipped off the guard, touched the trigger, and a shot was discharged, hitting a light switch on the other end of the gym, shattering it into a thousand pieces (fortunately not hitting or hurting anyone)! A few scolding words, and further instruction from a loving Dad and an important lesson learned! … “Be careful of a ‘hair trigger!”
I also had a “hair trigger” when it came to my temper! Anger management has been an issue for me (perhaps you too?). Something or someone would irritate me, try my patience, and I would “pop off” indiscriminately… saying and doing things that hurt people and that I would regret. It’s an area where God has had to do a transforming work within me through the power of the Holy Spirit… AND an area in which I have had to be spiritually vigilant… More than once I’ve heard my Heavenly Father’s voice warn me through the Holy Spirit, “Be careful son! Remember, you’ve got a ‘hair trigger!”
Thought of that issue in my life as I read these words in my Bible this morning…
“Understand this, you must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry! [and I need to be all three!] Remember, human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires! … If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless!” (From James 1:19-20, 26 NLT)
I’m listening Lord! Help me, remind me, and enable me!