Proverbs 29:11 (NIV)
Fools give full vent to their rage,
but the wise bring calm in the end.
In the 1975 Masters Tennis Tournament in Stockholm, Sweden, tennis star Arthur Ashe ahead 4-1 in the third and decisive set of their round-robin match with Romanian-born Ilie Nastase, sometimes dubbed "Nasty" Nastase for his flamboyant on-court antics.
Behind in the match, Nastase went into his act again, stalling and arguing, cursing, taunting, and acting like a madman. Finally, Arthur Ashe put down his racket and walked off the court, saying, "I've had enough. I'm at the point where I'm afraid I'll lose control."
"But Arthur," cried the umpire, "You'll default the match."
"I don't care," replied Ashe, "I'd rather lose that than my self-respect."
Agreeing that Nastase's unruly behavior had unfairly interrupted the match and driven Ashe to the sidelines, referee Horst Klosterkemper came up with a solution to the fiasco. He announced that Nastase was disqualified. He refused to condone Nastase's bullying tactics and he insisted that Nastase default the match for his unsportsman-like conduct. Arthur Ashe won both in the game of tennis--and in the game of life.
Do you control your anger or does your anger control you? This is something we face each day. Let’s pray together for the strength to put the racket down and not let the anger destroy our self-respect and our witness for Christ
Dear Lord, we give the problems we face today that may cause anger. We pray that Your Spirit will control us in all that we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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