A young boy began losing his temper almost every day, so his dad suggested he drive a nail into the fence in their yard each time he lost his temper.

The first day the little boy had to pound 37 nails into the fence.

As each day passed, he hammered fewer nails. After two weeks, and 174 nails, the little boy hadn’t been angry much at all.

The father then told him to pull all the nails from the fence. After the boy finished, the father told him how proud he was, but asked him to look at the holes in the fence. He explained that the fence would never be the same.

This is one of my favorite short stories. I try to envision the hole I place in lives every time I lash out in anger. Each episode of violence, hateful words, and aggressive behavior causes hurt that will never be completely repaired. We may apologize and try to fix the fence, but it will be forever weakened by the holes we nailed into it.

Ephesians 4:26 – “If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day.”

Those who have just met me may find it difficult to believe that I was known to have a short temper. Back then, I fought all my battles on my own. Now, I have a leader who takes care of my fences for me before they need mending. He is standing with me every step I take, and He overcomes each obstacle. I’ve stepped aside many times and let God take care of the problem, and He has never let me down.

Don’t fool yourself to perceive anger as strength. The person who acts out by loud, bold, and harsh words is weak and being guided by the wrong leader.

Are there any fences that need mending in your life? Get to it!

Rick Stanfield is a syndicated columnist, professor, motivational speaker and author. His latest book is “I Can and I Will.” For more information, visit his website at www.rickstanfield.com.

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