There’s a story in the Old Testament that bothered me a lot until I heard a rabbi teach about it. It’s the account of Moses not being able to enter the Promised Land because he struck a rock instead of speaking to it. Interestingly, there were two times when this famous Biblical hero hit a boulder with his rod. The first time, he did it at the Lord’s instruction, and the rock broke and water gushed forth for the people to drink. The second time, however, he was commanded to speak to the rock rather than hit it. Unfortunately, because he was angry, he chose to exercise his wrath and smite the stone instead of doing what God had asked of him. Ever-patient, His Heavenly Father gave him another chance to do it the right way, but he disobeyed again. While the rock did ultimately bring forth water, the Lord told Moses that because of his willful disobedience, he would not be allowed to enter the place he’d been promised. Reading this story through the eyes of a Western Christian, his plight seemed unfair to me because I didn’t understand the significance of God’s decision. However, when I gained a Jewish understanding, I saw that this was Jehovah’s way of asserting that — in this land flowing with milk and honey— it would be important for reason to control action. Words and civility would be required to govern in the Lord’s likeness, and brains would be of greater value than brawn. This is something that Moses didn’t quite understand, and his inability to curb his emotions cost him the privilege of seeing the place he had spent 40 years searching for.
My friend, while emotions are a big part of life, reason and rationality are required to gain influence in the right places. Your Savior is the most calm and joyful being in the Universe, and He beckons you to follow in His way by channeling your power and passion through purposeful and thoughtful responses. When He counsels and guides you, heed His voice, obey His instructions, and let self-control be the hallmark of your lips and the banner of your Godly heritage.