Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Break Thou The Bread Of Life"1 (Lyrics)
I hated the pressure cooker when I was growing up. It hissed and made strange noises. I expected it to blow up every time Mom used it. My bedroom was beside the kitchen, so I had to walk by the scary thing any time I left my room. I'd dash by the stove as fast as I could in case it blew its top.
If you're unfamiliar, the pressure cooker is a sealed, stainless steel pot used to cook food under high pressure. It expels steam from a contraption on the lid and makes scary, hissing sounds.
Nowadays, they make a similar digital cooker that doesn't scare the living daylights out of small children. Thank goodness!
I can relate to the cooker as an adult though.
Sometimes, I feel under pressure and need to vent and let off steam. I'm sure that many others feel this way when dealing with the stresses of life.
In general, I'm pretty easygoing. But sometimes, I'll get hot over something and stew in anger. Then, like the dreaded cooker, I'm about to blow my top. It takes a lot for me to get to that point. But when I do, watch out.
Proverbs 29:11 – A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. (NIV)
God warns against doing what comes naturally to us. We want to relieve the strain and give full vent to our rage. I've made that mistake, and it only does more harm. It might make us feel better to blow up at someone, but more than likely, we'll regret our reaction later.
If you've ever felt like I have, then here are five simple ways to let off steam without blowing your top:
1. Walk it off! – Go for a long walk or run. Exercise helps and gives time for thought before making a calm response.
2. Rearrange furniture – This is a good way to release those penned-up frustrations and burn off that negative energy.
3. Write – It helps to write down what's making us angry and why. Sometimes, this simple action can alleviate the anger.
4. Read – Reading takes our minds off the problem for a little while, giving us time to calm down. The Scriptures are especially helpful.
5. Cook – Make comfort food and go ahead and eat some. Calories don't count. They're called comfort foods for a reason. While enjoying the delicious food, think of ways to handle the situation without causing harm.
When the scary cooker has done its job, the meat is tender and delicious. The high pressure worked. The same is true with us. We grow up a little when we stop allowing anger to explode out of us and take time to calm down. Our reactions reveal character and growth.
Even though it's hard to remain cool when we feel steamed, God allows these situations for our benefit. He's working all things for our good and is at work making us better and more like Jesus.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for helping us as we go through life. Sometimes, it's hard, and we lose our tempers. Help us to remain calm and to handle difficult moments in a way that honours You. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.