The Shoebox

In your anger do not sin! Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. 
–Ephesians 4:26-27

I read a humorous story about a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the woman had a shoebox in the top of her closet about which she had cautioned her husband never to open. Over the years, the man forgot about the box until the woman became very sick.

While sorting out their affairs, the elderly man took down the shoebox and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time for him to know the contents of the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $25,000.

Curious, the man asked her about the contents. “When we were to be married,” she began, “my grandmother told me the secret to a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.” The man was so moved he had to fight back tears.

Only two precious dolls were in the box. Apparently, she had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

“Honey,” he said, “that explains the dolls, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?” “Oh,” she said, “That’s the money I made from selling all the dolls.”

I’ll admit, I got a good chuckle from this story, but in reality, it’s no way to handle conflict in relationships. In the above Scripture, Paul warns us not to end a day angry with another person. He knew the power of anger and how the devil waits to seize any opportunity to increase division among believers. Unresolved anger leads to bitterness, a lack of forgiveness and it causes immeasurable pain to those involved. Today, choose to be a peacemaker and resolve any outstanding conflict.

1. Spend some time evaluating your relationships.

2. Is there someone in your life with whom you have unresolved conflict? If there is, commit to taking steps to resolve the conflict.

1 Thessalonians 5:13; Hebrews 12:14

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Leslie Snyder

Leslie is a wife, mother, youth ministry veteran and long-time member of the HomeWord daily devotional writing team. Along with her family, she lives in Walla Walla, Washington where she is the owner and personal trainer at Redefine Fitness and Nutrition.

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