Anger Destroyed the Moment

Author Steven Cribbs    Category Leadership     Tags

My wife will tell you that she does not see me get angry very often. In fact, for the first couple of years that she knew me, she says that she did not know I was capable of getting angry. Then, one fateful night, while leading worship, my wife was totally taken by surprise.

Yelling Through The Microphone

As a college student, I led worship for the youth group at my church. It was something that I loved to do. I spent hours preparing music, hauling equipment, rehearsing the band, and doing everything I could think of to lead worship well. But, there was one thing that I didn’t prepare for. I was not ready, nor equipped, for times when others did not engage worship the way that I was planning on.

This particular night of worship started out like most other nights. We played some fun, energetic songs. Everyone seemed to be connecting (from what I saw) and we were moving into a more intimate time of worship. Then, I saw something I didn’t expect…

Ice. Ice was flying through the air from the back of the room towards the stage (it wasn’t really a stage, the band was just set up on the floor at the front of the room). It wasn’t just one piece and it wasn’t just one time. And then there was the laughing from the back of the room. Sadly, I wasn’t so concerned about the disruption to the worship. All I could think about was ice and the electronics that it was flying towards.

And then it happened. Through the microphone. I started yelling at whoever it was that was throwing the ice. I don’t remember what I said. I do remember the shock. I couldn’t believe it – and neither could anyone else – I couldn’t believe the response that came from me! I finished my lecture on the evils of ice throwing, or my rant, or whatever it was that I said. And then I tried to finish leading worship. We played the music. People tried to sing. But the moment was utterly destroyed.

It wasn’t really the ice or the other kids that caused the problem.  My response, my anger, led us away from where God wanted us to be.

In looking back at this story, I see so many things that I could have done differently. Since then, I have learned a lot that has helped me handle similar situations without destroying the moment. Here are just a few things that I have learned:

  • Expect that unexpected things will happen.
  • Think through your response before you say or do anything.
  • Give a lot of grace. Then, give some more.
  • Nobody perceives things the same way I do.
  • People will go where I lead them – I must set the example.
  • Pray Before. Ask God to prepare you for unexpected things.
  • Pray in the moment. Ask God to show you what is important for that moment and to lead you through the moment.

I realize now that a little ice is not that big of a deal. I have learned that people are not always going to know what I know, have the perspective that I have, or even want what I want – all of which creates opportunities for things to not go as planned. And I have learned that it is possible to take unexpected turns and still get to where I am supposed to go – especially if I don’t lose my cool (at least too much).

What stories do you have of a time when you blew it? What have you learned that helps when you get angry? You can leave a comment below.

10 Comments to “Anger Destroyed the Moment”

  • Brandon March 18, 2011 at 7:45 am

    This was a great post! That example was a prime one for this post. I lead the worship for my youth group at my church. One thing that I have noticed is that not everyone is into it. There are always gonna be some individuals who try to disrupt everything. I always pray before it…and let God take care oif everything.

    Tonight is DNOW for my church… we are doing a 15 song set for the 2 nights of worship. So please pray for everything. The band…and all the events…and for God to take over!

    • Steven Cribbs March 18, 2011 at 10:06 am

      That’s one of the tough things about worship – not everyone gets into it (especially in the way that we desire). So, it really helps going into a service realizing that we are not responsible for the worship of others – just for leading in the way that God has asked you to.

      I will be praying DNOW!

      • Brandon March 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

        Yes. You are exactly right! I just let God take control of it. I don’t worry about the others who don’t want to pay attention. I just know that I am playign for God only…and I am helping lead the others (who are serious) in worship.

        Thanks so much for praying for DNOW! I will post all about it when it is done!

  • Adam March 18, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Steven those are some great pointers.
    I use the thinking through before saying anything and praying about it. It makes you look at the situation as a whole and not just your spur of the moment initial reaction and feelings.
    Grace is so very important. If not the most important. People are going to fail, and no one is perfect.

    • Steven Cribbs March 18, 2011 at 10:16 am

      I agree. It makes a difference when we can see the situation from a bigger perspective. Usually when I do this, I find that the things I think are colossal end up being really not that big of a deal.

  • Jeff Randleman March 18, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I’ve been there. I remember a time when I totally destroyed my son because I got angry at somthing he did… Not very long after I got on to my daughter for yelling at our other son. It was terrible.

    My temper gets the best of me sometimes….

    • Steven Cribbs March 18, 2011 at 10:11 am

      It really saddens me when I let this happen with my children…and even more when I see them using that example in how they treat a sibling. I have been working really hard to watch my responses to my children – to understand how my words and actions will really affect them as a whole person.

  • 12 Ways To Get Your Child’s Attention | Steven Cribbs May 17, 2011 at 11:54 am

    […] However, it is a response that usually does not have the lasting affects that we truly desire. An angry episode generally destroys ‘the moment’. And, much to our dislike, shouting to get attention […]

  • How To Keep Your Attitude From Erupting Into A Bad Attitude | Steven Cribbs August 3, 2011 at 6:54 am

    […] this; but, it is still so easy to get stuck in a bad mood, to respond to situations in anger (like I did once) and even to disconnect from everyone and everything.  And, just when we are having our own little […]

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