Digging in Deeper: James 1:19

“My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you noticed lately that everyone seems angry? No matter what the issue nowadays, it feels a bit like anger is the only tool in our toolboxes anymore. You pick what the situation may be. Someone is arrested and things don’t go as smoothly as they normally do. Anger. The markets drop like a stone. Anger. Covid infection rates go up…or down. Anger. Schools wrestle with what will be the best approaches this year to keep students safe while fostering a genuine learning environment. Anger. The Olympics are starting. Anger. Congress acts. Anger. Congress doesn’t act. Anger. The line is longer than usual at the grocery store. Anger. Anger, anger, anger. What’s wrong with us? This morning I don’t have any recent media reviews for you. Instead, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why we are so angry as a people. I’d like to share some thoughts if you’ll have them.

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Morning Musing: Micah 7:1

“How sad for me! For I am like one who — when the summer fruit has been gathered after the gleaning of the grape harvest — finds no grape cluster to eat, no early fig, which I crave.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

If there’s any one word that is most often used to describe the Old Testament prophets, what do you think it would be? For me some words like judgmental and mean come to mind. That’s the kind of characterizations I often see them given in the culture at large. If there was a single word that was most used, though, it would be the word angry. That word is common. But is it right? Maybe not. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Jonah 4:1-3

“Jonah was greatly displeased and became furious. He prayed to the Lord: ‘Please, Lord, isn’t this what I thought while I was still in my own country? That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and one who relents from sending disaster. And now, Lord, take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever gotten mad about something God did? That’s kind of an odd question, I’ll grant you, but think about it for a minute. Maybe God did something good for someone you deemed undeserving. Perhaps He allowed someone you love to go through a season of suffering or die. It could be that someone else didn’t get what you thought they deserved for something they had done. Whatever it was, there are times in our lives when we get mad at God. Jonah certainly was here. What do we do in these times?

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Morning Musing: Luke 15:28a

“But he was angry and refused to go in.”‬‬ (ESV – Read the chapter

For every person who leaves, there is another who remains. For every wanderer, there is someone who holds down the fort. As we’ve seen over the past few days, the life of the leaver doesn’t turn out smooth or easy as planned. Leaving doesn’t solve any problems, it creates a whole host of new ones. The same is true, though, for the one that remains. The stayer faces all kinds of challenges. Indeed, adjusting to holding down the fort with one less than usual isn’t easy. But the biggest problem is something we might not expect. 

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Morning Musing: 1 Samuel 25:13

“And David said to his men, ‘Every man strap on his sword!’ And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

There are a lot of different kinds of mad. Very rarely is someone ever just regular old garden-variety angry. If you’re mad about something, it’s helpful to know what kind of mad you are. There is selfish-mad and disappointed-mad and jealous-mad. Parents may know well the feeling of being disobeyed-mad or disrespected-mad. Most of us have at one time or another been bad attitude-mad. Employees probably know overworked-mad. What student doesn’t know what it feels like to be stressed out-mad? But have you ever been hurt-mad? How about offended-mad? Those cousins are two of the most dangerous kinds of mad there are. Read the rest…