My former pathology group was meeting with the administrators for one of the hospitals for which we were contracted. During the meeting, one of the newer associates spoke up about some billing issues that had emerged between our group and the hospital. Jake, my senior partner, abruptly cut him off and said that our business manager was working on this and it had been resolved. The incident passed and I thought nothing of it until one of my partners pulled me aside after the meeting.
“Jake was not happy about that question about billing.”
“How did you know?”
“His ears turned red.”
Oh boy. I knew my partner well. I have never seen him angry, but when he is upset, the tell-tale sign of his red ears emerged, exacerbated by the fact that he had short hair cropped above his ears. Within a few days, I learned that he sat down with that associate and expressed his displeasure with him. In less than a year, this associate left our group.
When one wears their heart on their sleeves, emotions are laid bare. However, many of us attempt to hide our true emotions, particularly in sensitive situations. Studies have shown that, in spite of a person’s best efforts to conceal our anger, subtle facial changes and other body language are often present. An eye twitch. A downturn of the lips. Red ears is a novel sign. When I am very angry and am attempting to conceal it, I may present a stoic face but my hands shake uncontrollably.
A person who does not control his temper is like a city whose wall is broken down.
Proverbs 25:28 (CSB)
We all learn to control and hide our anger with varying degrees of success. God’s Word is explicit that if we are unable to do this, we are like a city with broken walls. Our defenses are broken and we are vulnerable to more personal attacks. However, in spite of our best efforts, subtle clues may still emerge betraying our true feelings. It is difficult and God recognizes this.
Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4:26-28 (CSB)
Anger is an emotion that defines us as humans. We must learn to master it and when we are unable, we should not allow it to lead us to sin. It needs to stop at red ears.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.