Hackers are good at causing uproars. But it seems not much is needed for one today.
They got into the Target system, and though Target did everything they could and probably sweated and prayed through long nights for millions of people, we blamed them. Because we always have to blame someone. And it’s easier to blame someone we can use for our benefit. Like a lawsuit. Because we are all technological geniuses and that would have never happened on our watch at any time in any place. Someone is probably hacking me right now.
And UPS. What can brown do for you? Deliver billions of packages on time….but when they don’t just one Christmas, we are all up in a tizzy because we don’t have enough presents under the tree just yet. I realize not all packages are gifts…and many were important…but how many should cause an ulcer…or a mean letter which usually makes everything better?
When did we all get so angry?
A headline yesterday made me sick to my stomach. I started following a certain christian media source on Facebook, because a trusted colleague was and I thought it would be news about people in the faith…encouraging and such. So I clicked “Like.”
What followed were many posts listing the absolute worst headlines from all over the world. It didn’t make sense to me. Is this so we can pray harder for these stories and the people involved? But don’t read long in any paper or mobile app…and the headlines are breathtakingly heavy.
To keep you from getting sick too, here is the short version: A young man seriously injured a tiny baby because the baby interrupted his X-Box game.
The response here? Cannot be, “oh, kids today.”
Society is angry. And selfish. All ages. Everywhere. That includes me. Strife is increasing…and creation is groaning. (Rom. 8:22)
We’ve all become too accustomed to having our needs met on our timetable.
We could say “those people” who hurt others from infancy to adult are just plain evil or carry deep hurts from childhood. But we all hurt people.
And so many of us are a late package delivery away from exploding. Or a five minute wait at the check-out line from setting our Christianity on the shelf. Let’s not even talk about road rage.
Christmas is over and we are packing up our lights…and maybe our hope. And our kindness. It’s all about us again.
Webster defines anger as “a strong passion or emotion of displeasure or antagonism, excited by a real or supposed injury to one’s self or others, or by the intent to do such injury.”
Who wants to be injured? No one. And we certainly feel it when those we love are injured in any way. So we react, and it injures another. Maybe in a different way. We think its softer. Our response is sometimes deserved. But the lash out we think we enjoy sends an unquenchable thirst of bitterness deep deep down.
I got angry after the twins were born. A lot. It’s how I responded when I was tired. And since tired doesn’t go away with twins, I came face-t0-face with my real and practical need for Christ. His walk to the mocking cross in humble obedience tells me everything I need to know about whining for our rights as Christians today.
We may have every reason to get angry. He said “in your anger” do not sin.
The kind response not only turns away wrath, but it stands out like a beacon in a dark world of mad.
My basketball coach used to tell us “if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” Because everyone wants easy. The people who choose hard stand out.
The Olympian who has been practicing at 4 a.m. for a lifetime. The single Mom working three jobs and still taking her kids to church on Sundays. The person who controls their emotions in order to love…when it’s so stinking hard and everything in them says “I deserve better”…..”You owe me.”
Have you been easily frustrated lately? Do you just feel MAD at people in general? I’m talking with you today.
With you. Not to you. Not at you.
Because I’ve driven away from the store frustrated when all my coupons didn’t go through. We all know that is life-altering.
And a group of people expressed their anger when NASA posted a picture of a jet following Santa’s sleigh…because it wasn’t traditional. Wow.
They say venting is healthy. Letting it all out. Vents can be funny things though.
We need to fix our duct work at our house. The vents bring all the air into our bedroom while other rooms are freezing in the winter. So no matter what I do with those vents…the underlying problem is the duct work.
Our problem is internal. No amount of venting or yelling or revenge taking will redirect the air of His Spirit. We need Him, and we need practical tools to help us live what we believe.
The main tool in our box has got to be the Word of God. So let’s learn a little something from Cain. He introduced the world to total disregard for the miracle of human life…by taking one. And murder entered the story of human history. It all started with jealousy.
Ever since then we’ve festered and carried and vented and acted upon feelings of anger all because of the same root problem: Pride. Which leads to all things self-preservation. It’s all about what we want.
Can we be done with this? With the heavy chest and the small frustrations. To just let. all. things. go. This year can we finally forgive? Can we finally learn to take a deep breath and walk away with Christ as the only justification we really need.
Because that customer service agent really doesn’t need one more griper today. Your pastor really doesn’t need to hear about what he is not doing. The other political party is not going to change through your anger. And that peace we hear/read/talk about is a deep breath prayer away.
“May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in YOUR sight, Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”