2008-08-01 - LGLP
Proverbs 9:11 (NIV) A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Is it just me, or do people seem more angry these days? Just today, I had one person hang up the phone while I was in the middle of telling them that I had not received an e-mail from them. Another person sent me an e-mail that saying words that I know they would not have used in person or on the phone. And lastly, someone left me a voice mail that was babbling over with anger. All this in one day!
I have noticed as gas, and food prices rise and our economy sinks lower, people are quicker to anger. And I must confess that I am guilty as can be lately, of being quick to anger and not overlook offenses. My son asked me the other day why I don't have our church's LGLP (Love God, Love People) sticker on my bumper. I told him because I don't like the way I act in my car. I can be driving along, singing really off-key to a praise song, and suddenly a driver might do something that I perceive as less than smart. And mild-mannered me becomes crazy road rage fool, shouting at a total stranger, while Chris Tomlin is singing "Amazing Grace!" Argh! I hate myself when I do that.
Obviously, as James points out in the verse, anger does not bring about the "right life" that God desires for us. So what is up with me? What is up with all of us and this perception I have of more and more people being quick to anger? Perhaps we are finding it easier to hide behind technology? It is easier not to be the person you God intended for you to be, when you can blast someone in an e-mail, voice mail or from the seat of your car.
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
While God may test us to strengthen us, the devil always deceives us to make us fail. When I snap, evil has won; it has devoured me. It diverts me from pleasing God, to displeasing Him.
For me, when that driver cuts me off and I am singing, I have started thinking, ok, here comes the anger, now stop David, just stop, resist it and sing on! And really, this tactic can work for any temptation. Don't let the evil one win, don't be lunch for him. Be full of God's love and wisdom. Next week we will examine some practical ways to resist temptations.
Do I sound simplistic and trite about this? I don't think so. We can't let evil gain even the smallest foothold in our lives.
"Ephesians 6:11 (NIV) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
Maybe I will put that LGLP sticker on my bumper now...