"Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly." -Albert Einstein

Friday, June 28, 2013

"A Right to be Angry"

I found this today, and it was very good. I hope you will be blessed, like I was. Something to chew on, for sure.

(Borrowed from www.shirleymcclay.com @ Sunny Glade)
 It’s from the book 1000 gifts by Ann Voskamp.  She’s asking the question ‘how do I see grace, give thanks, find joy in this sin-stinking place?’ When things are melting down really fast how does one find joy? Here are her words:
“What compels me to name these moments upheavals and annoyances instead of grace and gift? Why deprive myself of joy’s oxygen? The swiftness and starkness of the answer startle–because you believe in the power of the pit.
Really? I lay my head on the table. Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love? That Satan’s way is more powerful, more practical, more fulfilling in my daily life than Jesus’ way? Why else get angry? Isn’t it because I think complaining, exasperation, resentment will pound me up into the full life I really want? When I choose–and it is a choice–to crush joy with bitterness, am I not purposefully choosing to take the way of the Prince of Darkness? Choosing the angry way of Lucifer because I think it is more effective–more expedient–than giving thanks?”

For the next couple of days it simmered and stirred in me. And God told me that I actually have no right to anger. It may be deserved, I may be hurt, but if I have truly laid all of me down at the altar, if I am truly dead to Shirley and Christ is in control, then my right to anger and defensiveness is gone. The minute I choose them, I am picking “me” up and stepping out of “living in Christ.”
How often did Jesus get mad as he was living his life here on earth? The money-changers at the temple. He was angry for the sake of God and His church. Not for Himself. Not for how he was treated, misunderstood, falsely accused, mocked, looked down on, unappreciated, scorned, made fun of, and hated. If He is our example of how we should respond, then we need to have zero tolerance for anger towards our loved ones.
Ouch. Painfully high standard. Impossible for me. But with Him all things that He asks me to do are possible.  ”With Him” being the key. I have to accept the grace that He offers in that moment. When anger is rising up in me (call it irritation, hurt, offense, or whatever other label) I have a choice in that moment of whose power I will grasp. Will I choose God’s power (grace) and continue to abide in Christ, or will I choose Satan’s power which steals, kills, and destroys. My choice. On a minute to minute basis.
And really, what do I gain by choosing anger? Does it further me in any way? Do I reach any goals or desires by simmering and fuming? Do I become more like Christ? Am I storing up treasure in Heaven? What is the end of anger towards my loved ones… to steal, kill, and destroy. To protect “me,” to exalt “me,” to defend “me.” And to take from them. This is not His way. Our way seems right to us but it leads to death. His way leads to life.