Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Personal Demons

I have a problem with anger. I don't really have a temper, but I am easily frustrated and annoyed. As a matter of fact, at one point at work, I was often known to start conversations with, "You know what pisses me off?"

I'm fairly sure this isn't showing people what Jesus is like.

I think that having this kind of attitude is the opposite of being merciful. If my first response to incompetence or smugness or rudeness or anything else I don't like is anger, then showing mercy is the last thing on my mind. Quick to anger, quick to judge.

One thing I'm fascinated with is how relevant the teachings of Jesus are today. He said "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." I think he's not just talking about our final reward...I think he's talking about this life, too. His teachings are applicable to our lives because they are practical. I screw up enough; make enough mistakes in this life - I have huge need for mercy every day - from my family, from employers, from people I run into. How much less likely will I find people who will extend mercy to me if I'm not willing to do the same?

Jesus goes on to say, "You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family." (I love how The Message says it here). Being quick to anger isn't a trait that lends well to being around people. I'm thankful that God is releasing me from this; sometimes it just isn't as fast as I'd like...and if I had today to do over again, I think I would have responded differently...

Quote of the Day
What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.
-Paul, in his letter to the Christians in Rome

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