As we've navigated this pandemic (along with the corresponding quarantine, economic nosedive, and educational scramble), there have been boatloads of information and misinformation served with steaming sides of anger, self-righteousness, and superiority. Before you speak, hit send, type a message, share a post, or assume the worst about anybody, listen to the words of James: Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger..."
Last spring, we decided to remove the bushes and rocks from our front planter bed and add a better variety of plants. Once the bed was clear of roots and rocks, we laid a strong weed barrier over every inch of dirt. We laid out our plants, cut small holes in the weed barrier, and… Continue reading Why You Can’t Keep Delaying Forgiveness
Election years are always tumultuous here in the states, but the last four presidential elections have been particularly pernicious. One side foretells utter doom if the other side wins. One side threatens to abandon the country if so-and-so is elected (aaaand they never do). This house is divided, and if we don't start getting our act together, it's going to fall. Anger, Apathy, Angst---all are present for the show. Do you feel these things?
Have you ever had your heart crushed by someone who was supposed to be a friend? Enemies can attack and leave some bruising, but nothing is as devastating as being hurt, neglected, ignored or betrayed by a loved one. Enemy attacks are like surface wounds; friend's attacks cut to the bone. When you feel this way, where do you take your pain? To whom do you relay your frustration?
Marla stood in the doorway, her arms wrapped around herself like a shield, gazing bitterly all the shiny happy people in the building. To her left stood an attractive young blonde in a stunning red dress. Her highlighted hair was neatly curled in the latest style. She looked as though she had just stepped out of the cover of Vogue. Nice dress. She thought. Katy always has nice, new clothes. I'm always rotating the same three or four outfits. Her eyes wandered over to Mike and Jamie, a lovely young married couple surrounded by ladies with their eyes alight, all focused on a little bundle of pink. The ladies were waiting for a chance to hold the pink bundle that was, at the moment, nestled quietly in Jamie's arms. Ah, yes. Whispered the bitter voice in her head, They just had a baby. A healthy baby. No infertility issues there. Perfect husband. Perfect house. Gets to stay at home with her baby and be free from money worries. Finally, her gaze fell upon a smartly dressed woman, her brown hair streaked with gray, but not in an unattractive way. Her brown eyes held a warm serenity and some other indefinable quality. She had squeezed Marla affectionately and gazed with compassion at her, as though she could sense the turmoil roiling within. Marla let out a sigh. Then there's Lena. Always so calm, sweet and peaceful. She never struggles with her faith. She always makes great comments in class. Everyone respects her. Elder's wife. Perfect life. The young woman's eyes darted quickly to the ceiling to hold back the tears threatening to betray her torrential emotions. Everyone had it so easy! Why couldn't she get a break?!
Our anger is often like a raging bonfire. It flares high and hot then diminishes to a pile of ash and embers, succeeding only in destruction. Yet anger is not without purpose and can be useful if carefully managed.
oot-in-Mouth Disorder: A common mental disease found in anyone possessing a working mouth, characterized by the imaginary sensation that something is lodged in their mouth after they say something inappropriate or erroneous to another person.
My best friend has been a cop for nearly seven years. Working in such a gritty profession has wrought violent changes to his perspective. He has arrested drug dealers, wrestled heroin addicts to the ground, apprehended drunk drivers, pursued high speed vehicles, rescued the dying, encountered bloody and decaying bodies, managed violent crash scenes, and stopped domestic violence. These are the things that turn saints into cynics...
Maybe you don't even realize that you feel this way, maybe it's buried somewhere deep in your subconscious. God's Word has a way of forcing us to confront things we'd rather ignore.
Are you growing the fruits of the Spirit or the weeds of bitterness?