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Archive for April 13th, 2022

Anger is Not an Answer

MEDITATION:

Written by Dallas Willard (1935-2013), an American philosopher and author known for his writings on spiritual formation. This is an excerpt from his book “The Divine Conspiracy.”

Anger and contempt are the twin scourges of the earth. Mingled with greed and sexual lust…these bitter emotions form the poisonous brew in which human existence stands suspended. Few people ever get free of them in this life, and for most of us, even old age does not bring relief. Once you see those emotions for what they are, the constant stream of human disasters that history and life bring before us can also be seen for what they are: the natural outcome of human choice, of people choosing to be angry and contemptuous. It is a miracle that there are not more and greater disasters. We have to remember this when we read what Jesus and other biblical writers say about anger. To cut the root of anger is to wither the tree of human evil. That is why Paul says simply, “Lay aside anger.” Yet influential people tell us today that we must be angry, that it is necessary to be angry to oppose social evil. The idea goes deep into our thinking…A leading social commentator now teaches that despair and rage are an essential element in the struggle for justice. He and others who teach this are sowing the wind, and they will reap the whirlwind, the tornado. Indeed, we are reaping it now in a nation increasingly sick with rage and resentment of citizen toward citizen. And often the rage and resentment is upheld as justified in the name of God. But there is nothing that can be done with anger that cannot be done better without it. The sense of self-righteousness that comes with our anger simply provokes more anger and self-righteousness on the other side. Of course, when nothing is done about things that are wrong, anger naturally builds and finally will break into action, whether in a family or a nation. That is inevitable and even necessary outside the Kingdom Among Us. But the answer is to write the wrong in persistent love, not to harbor anger, and thus to right it without adding further real or imaginary wrongs. To retain anger and to cultivate it is, by contrast, “to give the devil a chance.” (Ephesians 4:26-27). He will take the chance, and there will be hell to pay. The delicious morsel of self-righteousness that anger cultivated always contains comes at a high price in the self-righteous reaction of those we cherish anger toward. And the cycle is endless as long as anger has sway.

PRAYER:

Written by Rebecca Barlow Jordan is a contemporary Christian author.

As I start this day, help me remember that I belong to you, and my desire is to act accordingly. Keep my feet from stumbling and my mind from wandering into distractions that could steal precious time and energy from the most important things you have designed for me. I’m proud to be your child, Lord. And I’m so grateful that you died for me—rising again on your own new morning—so that every day could be filled with the wonder of your love, the freedom of your Spirit, and the joy of knowing you.

MUSIC MEDITATION:

Be Kind to Yourself:  Performed by Andrew Peterson

This song,  composed by songwriter/performer Andrew Peterson in 2015, was written for his pre-teen daughter about God’s love and his love for her.

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