Shortly after I arrived at the 2–187 Infantry Regiment, my battalion conducted a 25-mile foot march. I finished it with the rest of the battalion, but the seven hours of steady pounding turned my feet into hamburger.
To avoid tearing my feet to shreds on future marches, one of the company commanders, CPT Chris Toner, offered this advice: “Wear your socks inside out on long foot marches.” Why?—Because the outside of the sock is actually the smooth side. The inside, however, is covered with yarn knots, seams, and folds in the fabric.
Just the smallest knot on the inside of one’s sock can wear holes right through the Soldier’s skin on a long march. To minimize this, he advised me to wear my socks inside out so the smooth side would be against my skin. It looks terrible to the eyes, but it feels much better. Since then it’s become a habit—wearing the ugly side without for the sake of comfort within. I exposed the gnarls and knots so I wouldn’t have to deal with the pain they caused.
Many people do the same thing in the home and workplace—not with socks, but with their ugly feelings of anger, resentment, hurt, and bitterness. Instead of restraining their passions and containing their own inner poison, they spew it out on others so they won’t have to deal with it themselves. For the sake of their own comfort, they vent their anger and inner–ugliness on others. They get it off their chest and out of their system—causing misery for those around them and making the home and workplace a virtual hell.
Don’t ever interpret such angry outbursts as a show of strength. Quite to the contrary, such tantrums are childish and reveal a disturbing lack of self–control. “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his own spirit is stronger than he who captures a city,” says the Scripture in Proverbs 16:32. Don’t turn your ugly insides out on others. Those things are best kept within and–with God’s all-powerful grace, love, and strength—conquered.
Dear Father in heaven, I confess my need for your grace and inner strength. I find it easy to fix problems, but incapable of understanding my own inner issues. I easily master the skills for success in the workplace but feel powerless to rule my own passions and rage. O Lord, please conquer me with Your love. Create in me a clean and tender heart. Renew an obedient spirit within me. Conform me into the image of Your dear Son and fashion me into the person You created me to be. Amen.