It Was Not The Laundry Basket (Proverbs 29:11)

The empty laundry basket was positioned next to the washing machine. I bent down to pick it up but didn’t complete the action as a searing pain shot through my back, causing me to lose my balance.  For the next two days, I hobbled around, back bent, attempting to minimize the stress and pain. A visit to my orthopedic surgeon confirmed what I already knew, my lower lumbar vertebrae were continuing to degenerate, compressing the spinal cord and accompanying peripheral nerves. 

My story is not unique. Many people with lower back pain will often recall a similar episode of some minor activity which triggered a massive acute attack. While there is no denying the temporal association, it is highly unlikely that the minor activity caused it. This was the final straw in a long history of trauma and stress. It had been over a year since I had such an acute attack and, although I am very careful with my posture and activities, diligently performing core strengthening exercises, the additive wear and tear on my back had overwhelmed my lower vertebrae. 

As I reflected upon my situation, I realized that many stressors in my life are similar to this. It is the physician who yells at my office staff, demanding tomorrow’s result yesterday. It is the driver distracted by texting on his cell phone who nearly sideswiped me. Alone, each of these incidents may not be enough to make me lose control of my temper, but unless I successfully resolve each one, the tension builds until one day, a small incident ignites the fuse and I explode. It isn’t pretty or responsible but, like my back pain, it results in devastating consequences. 

The Bible is replete with verses that warn about the dangers of keeping one’s temper under control. One that always resonated me is the following verse:

A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back. 

Proverbs 29:11 (NASB)

While I keep this verse in mind and attempt to hold my temper back when a stressor occurs, it continues to build up. The lesson I needed to learn was what to do with this temper after I held it back.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NASB)

God asks me to take all my anxieties and incidents that I am holding back and give them to Him. He knows me better than I know myself and He will properly care for me. If I fail to do this, I give Satan an opportunity to encourage me to lose my temper, leading to an explosive result. 

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 

1 Peter 5:8-9 (NASB)

God’s Word is never wrong. I am wrong when I choose to berrypick Bible verses to deal with my sins. God’s Word is complete and I will only be at peace when I study His entire Word.


Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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