In their book Getting Anger Under Control, Neil T. Anderson and Rich Miller share what author and speaker C. Leslie Charles dubs “The Cranky Code,” which she suggests is the belief system of our angry, self-centered society. I encourage you to read through this convicting list!
I am entitled to what I want when I want it.
My time is important and I should not have to be inconvenienced by others.
I have the right to be impatient or rude when other people are behaving stupidly.
I am entitled to special privileges because I am who I am.
I’m a taxpayer; I own part of this road and I have the right to drive as fast as I want.
I not only have the right to pursue happiness, I deserve to be happy and I’ll do whatever it takes to achieve it.
I’m entitled to cheat a little bit in order to get ahead. If I don’t take advantage someone else will, and then they’ll be a step ahead of me.
I work extra hard but don’t get paid for it so I’m justified in helping myself to a few “souvenirs” from my office to offset what I am rightly owed.
I’m too busy to mince around with false politeness and should be able to tell people exactly what I think without having to worry about their feelings.
I must be more in the know than everyone else so I can stay “one up” on them; otherwise they may take advantage of me.
I deserve the newest, the biggest, the best, and the most. It’s my right.
I’m going to die one day so I may as well get as much as I can right now.
So what if I’m being rude—I never have to see this person again, so what difference does it make?
My opinions and views are more valid than anyone else’s.
My emergencies take precedence over anyone else’s emergency.
The world is unfair and opportunities are limited, so I may as well get all I can while I can, regardless of who or what stands in my way.
Anderson and Miller write, “Though clearly non-Christian in origin, these belief statements can honestly reflect the flesh patterns of believers as well—though we may be very reluctant to admit it!”
Scripture has this to say about our conduct as believers:
"Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom" (James 3:13).
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14-15).
“…set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
“Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
May we as Christ-followers live differently, abiding by Jesus’ words: “…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).