I recently put a mechanical oil pressure gauge in my old ’89 Ford Bronco. One reason was that the indicator light had failed and stayed on all the time. The other reason was that I prefer to know what the oil pressure actually is rather than just seeing a red light.
Still, the indicator lights do have benefits. They get our attention quickly in a way that a gauge might not. They notify us that there’s something wrong inside the engine and we need to deal with it right away.
As humans we don’t come equipped with lights that flash on at the first sign of internal problems. But we do have an indicator system that works very well if we pay attention to it.
God designed us with an automatic response system that we call emotions. When certain emotions flash on, it indicates a problem inside.
One of our particularly strong emotions is anger. It also happens to be an emotion that isn’t especially comfortable to us or socially acceptable to others. As a result, we often repress our anger, trying to hide it inside. Or we may transfer it, so it’s expressed where the public doesn’t see it, such as venting our anger on the members of our family.
It’s important to recognize anger for what it is, an indicator of a deeper issue. Anger flashes on when one of three things is going on inside: hurt, frustration or fear. If we just ignore or blow off the anger, then we’re missing the point. Anger comes to the surface as a warning signal prompting us to take care of the internal problem.
The bible recommends, “Be angry, but don’t sin. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” In other words, deal with anger promptly and properly, taking it as a signal to work on the root cause of hurt, frustration, or fear.
Don’t ignore your built in warning signals of emotions. They’re designed to keep you from neglecting your own internal maintenance.