People often react hastily or in anger, especially when difficulties fuel their anger. Yet, God calls us to respond differently than the world. Scripture tells us that we are not to sin in our anger, so it must be possible. What does responding differently, like Jesus, look like? Could it be taking a moment to assess the situation?
Could it involve speaking the truth in love? What does it look like for you to respond to other people and situations in humility and God-confidence? In your anger, do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.Ephesians 4:26-27
Could it be prayer to seek God and His perspective? Jesus, teach me to respond to difficulties as You do. Let my motivations and actions reflect humility and God-confidence. May Your ongoing transformation happening within me be evident in my words and attitudes, especially in my anger. In Your name, amen.
Mercy, grace, and leadership are not found in boardrooms or the halls of politics. They are found in heart, head, hands, and habits of “ordinary” people. We find it in the heart of a store clerk paying for the groceries of an exhausted nurse; in the head of a doctor creating a new ventilator so a patient can breathe; in the hands of the food bank workers distributing food to the hungry; and in the habits of the faithful who pray and continue to give thanks.
In 2001, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Max Lucado wrote a “Prayer for America.” In it he took a moment to say: “And we thank You for these hours of prayer. The enemy sought to bring us to our knees and succeeded. He had no idea, however, that we would kneel before You. And he has no idea what You can do.” This timeless prayer reminds us not to succumb to the fears of the moment. It reminds us that expressing our anxiety, fear, despair, hopelessness, isolation, (and even anger) may seem logical, and perhaps even appealing; but they keep us mired in a negative and self-defeating cycle. Instead, we can have faith, give thanks, become humble; and move closer to God who never self-isolates or practices social distancing. He is waiting for us with open arms and wants to draw near to us … if we would only let Him.
John Meeuwissen, Lay Leader