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Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional - Wednesday, April 10, 2019

“Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” — Proverbs 29:11

Anger Management 

I had to laugh when I read this recent headline: “This man was leading the Iditarod until he yelled at one of his dogs — then they all quit on him.” The story describes how Musher Nicolas Petit blew a massive lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race after his dog team quit on him for yelling at one of his dogs named Joey. The five-hour lead Petit and the dogs had worked so hard for evaporated following his burst of anger.

I see this all the time, especially being around youth sports with my kids — an overzealous coach or parent screaming their demands at 6-year-olds as if it would possibly compute. Just search anger in the Bible you’ll find some 54 verses referencing it. Verses such as “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26), “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath” (Psalm 37:8), and “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9 NIV). It reminds us of the devastation that uncontrolled anger can have on our lives.

Transform > Transact

What if instead we sought transformation over a transaction? Joe Ehrmann, former NFL player and author of “InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives,” captures this thought perfectly: “You either transact with people for your own personal needs, or you invest in the lives of people to help elevate them.”

This thought has to point you as a parent back to what your “why” is in yelling or even instructing your kids. Is it about winning in the current moment, or about leading them to be the great person they will be 10-plus years from now? As my friend, JP Nerbun, author of “Calling Up: Discovering Your Journey to Transformational Leadership,” says, it’s way better to “Call Up” than “Call Out” the youth we lead.

Next time you feel yourself ready to burst out in anger, especially at children, remember to control it. Bring calm to the situation. Your team might stop giving up on you, and they may transform to lead you further ahead than you knew possible.

— Brian Catanella

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