I think about as good a test of our sanctification as any is whether or not we are able to be objective about our grumpiness, and our negative emotions in general. It might sound silly, but I think its a huge part of wisdom. “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end” (Proverbs 29:11). “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge” (Proverbs 17:27). “Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them” (Proverbs 29:20). When we are grumpy or upset, it seems to me that we often need to say these kinds of things to ourselves:
“I’m under-slept, so the annoyance I’m feeling right now is probably exaggerated. I shouldn’t act on these feelings. I should not let them control me.”
Or: “given my current level of stress, I should be self-critical about this feeling of impatience. I should pray about this before I say anything. After all, I’m not perfect in this situation, either.”
Or: “this anger might feel justified, but my feelings can deceive me. A couple of days distance, and an objective opinion, might cause me to see this very differently. Lets give it some time.”
Lord, help us to be appropriately hesitant and self-critical. Help us to remember to talk back to our emotions, rather than merely hear what they are saying to us.