The Anger Train

Anger.001

I know there’s a ton of stuff that sucks…the REALLY.BIG.ROCKS!  Gas is $4 freakin’ dollars a gallon.  Grocery items…(oh, let’s not get started on that one).   And then there’s all the political crap!  AARRRG!!  it makes you angry, d#%n it! 

On top of all that, the images of suffering innocents abound…slammed right in our faces through instant media access.  Our.Emotions.Are.Raw.

So, what are we to do?

We have to get off the anger train! 

It takes good old fashioned (grow a pair) guts to jump off the train.

Many folks have been angry long enough that the anger train has built up momentum.  You can feel the hot air blowing in your hair.  The scenery of life is getting more and more blurred.  The clickety-clack of the next injustice announces its presence at a faster pace.

Don’t get me wrong.  The motivation for the anger is logical and many times feels moral.  You would not have climbed aboard if it weren’t.

Here’s the thing…the anger train that so many are riding (and that I am definitely tempted to board) is not changing one single circumstance. The prices are not coming down at the pump or in the grocery isle.  Politics.  Regardless of the party or arena, the root of politics has been a nemesis to true justice for…well…forever.  Don’t forget.  Politics and government are not the same thing.

Oh, by the way…angry Facebook posts and a “stand for righteousness” is also not the same thing.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” 

Be Angry And Sin Not

“Be angry and sin not.  Do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”  Ephesians 4:26

That would seem to contradict my whole argument, wouldn’t it?  Depends.  How do we know if the anger we feel is righteous anger?

In a nutshell, righteous anger doesn’t separate us from faith in God.  Righteous anger isn’t a response to fear of loss.  Righteous anger motivates one to seek God as a first priority.  Righteous anger doesn’t make you or I ugly and difficult to be around.  Righteous anger is short lived.  It’s not allowed to have a life of it’s own.

So, let’s circle back around to the beginning.

It’s time to get off the anger train.  It’s time to get aboard the train of trust.  Through communion with God, see how He’s responding to life.  Work at envisioning what it would look like in your life if you could actually trust Him with everything that concerns you.

Here’s a great antidote that will help you jump off the anger train with a soft landing.  Spend time every day listing things you are thankful for.  Ride the Praise Train.  Seriously…

Thankfulness and praise keeps the heart flexible and able to receive necessary wisdom and creativity. 

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bigger Than Reason by Gary Ellis

Trust is not birthed in the laboratory of “reasonableness.”  Faith won’t be judged in the courtroom of common sense.  

Since we Westerners are products of the “age of reason,” it’s natural for us to make “being reasonable” the cornerstone of our success and the highest attribute of the God we worship.  We don’t call it the highest attribute.  Certainly not!  But in practical reality that’s how we often “measure” Him.

However, if we seriously and conscientiously read the Scriptures, we discover multiplied instances where God does not appear reasonable at all.  Then,
if we add a host of real life experiences from our own stories and the stories of others we know…..well…admit it…there seems to be an unreasonable side to God.  The God who radically and extravagantly loves us.

<Side note:  Now come on.  Let’s be honest.  Haven’t there been times when you’ve taken a “faith stand” and felt very confident that things would turn out the way you wanted them to….and they didn’t?>

Here’s part of the problem.  We hold on to our own thoughts of what we consider to be a reasonable outcome.  We claim our “faith in God” when we’re actually attempting to have or maintain confidence that God’s “reasonableness” jibes with ours.

The Apostle Paul tells us that Abraham hoped beyond hope (Romans 4:18).  Jesus spoke to His disciples at a very unreasonable hour of apparent failure, “You believe in God.  Believe also in me…(John 14:1). 

Trusting actually becomes easier if we release God from “being reasonable” and simply trust the depth, breadth, and width of His love…even when all circumstances seem “unreasonable.”

Gary