Tuesday, 29 July 2008
by miss goldenrod
The lady with an overflowing shopping cart at the grocery store rushes to get into the line ahead of you and your little basketful. The guy who tailgated you for the last three miles zips around to get ahead of you and then hits his brakes. The person at the movie theatre behind you has a cold...and is sneezing and wheezing and coughing down your neck. Your neighbor allows their dog to bark for hours before she decides to bring him in. The waiter screws your order up...and you're on your lunch hour.
These situations are incredibly frustrating! Nothing you did made you deserving of such ill-treatment, yet for some reason, fate is hell-bent giving you a crappy day.
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20, NKJV
The word "wrath" in the English Bible is translated from three Greek words: orge, thumos, and parorgismos. According to the Vines Expository Dictionary, orge was used in this piece of scripture. In my opinion, thumos seems to fit this scripture well also; the VED says this:
* "Thumos, 'wrath' (not translated 'anger'), is to be distinguished from orge, in this respect, that thumos indicates a more agitated condition of the feelings, an outburst of wrath from inward indignation...It is characteristic that it quickly blazes up and quickly subsides..."
Indignation: anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy, or mean. When we feel that we have been slighted, insulted, or offended, we can easily become indignant. That little prick of emotion in our spirit opens us up to become angry, wrathful...and before we even realize it, we are no longer producing the righteousness, or "rightwiseness," of God. When we start to get angry at this other person for a slight, we have stopped seeing that person as a child of God, a person he loves. Besides, we've all been that person at some point!
Jesus has mercy on us each day. Do you think he wastes time and energy yelling at me as I do people in other cars even though they can't hear me?! Of course not. He probably sighs, shakes his head, and smiles...knowing that I'm just human. I posted this following prayer of another blogger in June, and I'm doing so again because we all need a reminder sometimes that other people have things going on too:
"Dear Lord, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.
Help us to remember that the pierced , tatooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.
Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really aught to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.
Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.
Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love. Amen."
What kinds of little things frustrate you? How do you keep that frustration from ruining your entire mood?