When Not to Slap

What to Do When You Want to Smack Back

Have you ever had a road rage moment? I recently ran into a situation that made me glad not to have a “Jesus is my Co-Pilot” bumper sticker on my car. 

Someone pulled out in front of me on a busy street. Which is annoying by itself, but then the person continued down the road 20 miles an hour below the speed limit with no sign of speeding up in sight. I am not proud of what I did next, but sometimes life gives you a reason to want to smack back. Instead of slowing down for them, I kept going and waited until the last second to go around the driver. When I passed him, he gave me the one-finger salute.

In my book, I think you get one “off.” You can have the cut-off or the flip-off, but you don’t get both. To cut someone off and then flip them off seems a little greedy. So when that person got behind me, I slowed down to the same speed he was when he cut me off. I know. That took it too far. 

Immediately after doing this, I felt horrible. I realized that I had let a wrong done to me produce a wrong response from me. I cannot control other people, but why did I lose control of myself?

The next day, I was praying and believe God gave me a phrase to use in situations like this to help keep calm. Here it is:

“I have too much to lose to sweat the small stuff and too much to gain from moving on to more important things.”

We all experience annoyances, disrespect, and people not doing the right thing, negatively impacting us. Most of these situations are resolved by just moving on. It is a mark of wisdom to overlook a fault, according to Proverbs 19:11:

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” English Standard Version

If you are like me, then you can sometimes become easily frustrated. Life’s agitations can be sandpaper that smooths out your character or sand in your shoes that irritate your journey. What I feel like I learned from my situation is that minor frustrations become big problems when we do not let them go. It is best to remember that we have more to gain from overlooking an offense than we can hope to achieve by trying to smack back.