In the world today, it may seem normal to air your grievances as long and as loudly as your heart desires. You may tell yourself you’re standing for what’s right and prevailing in an important battle. But the truth is, when you spout off uncontrollably, you’re really losing hurting yourself, others, and even Jesus’ work through you.
Friend, it is always better to act like Christ in every situation: remaining patient, being loving, understanding the hurts of others, forgiving freely, and praying for those who persecute you. In that way, you’re always sure to win the more important war for the greater kingdom—the one that really counts.
For those standing up against oppression and the deep anger they feel over how they’ve been treated, we should listen to what they have to say and pray for God to answer their heart’s cry and bring peace. And we should participate in the solution that sets things right.
You may tell yourself you’re standing for what’s right. But when you spout off uncontrollably, you’re really losing hurting yourself, others, and even Jesus’ work through you.
For those of us struggling against our own ego and entitlement, the kind of self-contr:first and foremost lets let be a work of the Holy Spirit in our life to fix this. But make no mistake: It’s also labor we must undertake in collaboration with Him. Our efforts are necessary works in the process of sanctification—a way of demonstrating the sincerity of our faith in Christ, lest we become living proof of the apostle James’s point that “faith without works is dead” (James2:20 NKJV)
As Christians, confident in God’s love for us (Rom8:35-39), we of all people should feel equipped to interrogate anything that keeps us from growth, including the sources of our anger and the desire to punish. As with the man who pounded my car window, the true source of our anger is not likely to be the thing in front of us but something in our heart. An impediment we might previously have justified as normal or been unable to spot. I use the word interrogate because it conveys a sense of intentionality sustained through many obstacles. And intentionality is needed because rooting out the complex motives and reasons for why we act the way we do requires patience and even diligence, as we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth. It may be uncomfortable at times, particularly when what’s revealed to us is our own pride. Yet it’s impossible to truly walk in the way of love without this work. And if we ignore it, the abundant life Jesus promised we’d experience here and now will remain out of reach like a plentiful land we can see across an expanse of water, too far to reach without help.
The wonderful thing is that we haven’t been left to journey that way alone: God Himself goes with us in the person of His Spirit. And He gives us brothers and sisters, fellow travelers on the way to fullness, to help us see and name what we cannot. It’s only through humble listening, repentance, and mutual submission to one another that the Holy Spirit will complete this work in us (Phil1:6). It’s time we put to rest our petty distractions and seek the liberation the world including us so desperately needs.
As Christians, confident in God’s love for us, we of all people should feel equipped to interrogate anything that keeps us from growth.
What I can’t stop thinking about is the broken part in me that feels the need even the desire to punish others over the pettiest of things.
It’s an active choice we make, striving to see one another in our fullness. That is, each of us bearing the image of a God who is a community of three persons. The God who, though He would have every reason to burn with anger, burns instead with love.
© 2021 siphiwebillysigudla.com