Do you know anyone you would describe as having “volcanic anger”?
I do. Her anger often erupts on Facebook. Recently she decided to clear out some of the “worthless people” in her life by posting a very offensive picture on her Facebook page. It wasn’t the first time. In the past, I had decided not to respond, choosing to allow her to remain connected to us with the hope of ministering to her. The other day, however, I decided to grant her wish. She no longer has to spend the time reading my thoughts about God, God’s Word, or the events of our lives. My guess is that others choose to “unfriend” her as well.
Life is too short.
Yet even as I write these words, I am grieved that she has such bitterness, such a critical spirit. Believe me when I tell you that–from a simply human perspective–she has ammunition for her feelings. Life hasn’t been particularly easy for her. And–like each of us–some of her wounds are self-inflected.
What is a professing agnostic to do?
I guess that is why my feeling for her is one of pity. Because God has yet to open her eyes, she hates Him. All unbelievers do–even if they cannot put their finger on the object of their intense emotion. She is deeply disturbed and, as a result, she wants to disturb others. Pray for her if you would. Thank you.
Let’s take this opportunity to do a little self-examination.
Which of the following best describes us: Blessing or Cursing?
I choose those words carefully. Both Jesus and Paul contrast the two activities, calling followers of Christ to bless. Consider:
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:29-31).
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 14:12-21).
So–which are we consistently doing–blessing or cursing?
Are you on a mission to make a positive difference in the lives of those in your sphere of influence? Or would you rather offend? Do you prefer to irritate–making someone’s life more difficult than it already is proving to be?
Please know–I do not believe that only Christians can make a difference. We all bear the image of God. We all know how to add a smile to the face of others. Inherently we know that building up is to be preferred to tearing down. Each of us should strive to do no less. But Christians are commanded to do so. Jesus’ words are not suggestions. Paul’s words are not open for debate. Followers of Christ are to treat others as they want to be treated (Luke 6:31). They are to be people of humility, living peaceably with as many people as possible (Romans 12:16, 18).
If you are a Christian, join me in examining the fruit. Our production should match our profession. If we truly know Jesus, we should show Jesus. And–Jesus is perhaps most clearly seen in us in our relationships with others.
Beloved–let us bless and not curse.