Destruction at the hand of angry people fills our world, but Jesus dies to bring a better way.
33 For as churning cream produces butter,
and as twisting the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger produces strife.”
When and why do you get angry? For me there are 2 clear instances.
The first is in the car. I feel heat rise in the back of my throat at the injustice of someone skipping the traffic queue through the inside lane.
The other is when someone’s choice of action or word sheds a bad light on me. It seems an injustice that someone would pull me through the mud as the consequence of a poor choice.
Of course, in both these instances SOMEONE ELSE IS WRONG! I’m never wrong! (haha) Why don’t people just do things MY way!! That’s the track that plays in my head as I simmer in passive aggression. I’m not one to blow up, but I’ll disengage and fester.
Anger leads to strife and conflict. I’m always amazed how disarming the simple hand gesture or head nod in the car disarms a situation… or a chat to clear up a miscommunication. Anger however escalates until MY JUSTICE IS SERVED!!
Our world is filled with horrific death and destruction at the hands of people fuelled by anger, but Jesus shows us that LIFE is found in forgiveness and patience.
Jesus had every reason to be SO angry. The people he came to serve showed him no respect, treated him horribly, slandered his name and the name of God, and pinned him to the cross of shame and death. He did it to rescue those who would trust in him to life beyond the pain and consequences of anger.
He calls us now to true life where we can walk patiently with others, being quick to forgive and slow to anger for the sake of love, that many more might turn and be saved.
Head: How have you seen anger play out in this morning’s news stories?
Heart: How do you feel, reflecting on Jesus’ response to the injustice he suffered?
Hands: Keep a tab on what makes you angry today, and reflect on when, why, and the consequences.
Prayer: Father, please forgive me for the way I’ve treated others in anger. Thank you for Jesus and his stunning patience to carry out your plan to save people on the cross, in the face of so many reasons to be angry. His death means I have the hope of life. Please help me to love and serve others even when it frustrates me, so that others may get a glimpse of your love, and might turn to follow you. Please help me by the power of your Spirit, amen.
A song to listen to: Suffering Servant