I started a 60 day plan on my YouVersion app when my father died – “Grief Bites“. I’ve done my best to stick to it, but occasionally I find myself swinging through several days in a row to catch up and get back on plan. Today I was 3 days behind, so I started reading.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.Philippians 2:14-16
Conviction #1. Who doesn’t complain or dispute right now? Politics. Science. Medicine. Sports. The cancellation of Firefly. I do my best to avoid it, but some days I am convinced that the words are leaving my mouth faster than the neurons in my brain can fire to stop it.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.James 1:2-8
Conviction #2. I can try with all my might to be patient but even now, through these trials, I must fight back my human nature to jump the queue. One consistent truth in my life is that when I am lacking in patience… what I’m doing never works out.
19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.James 1:19-20
Conviction #3 – See Conviction #1 and #2. I have been exceptionally angry lately. I’m not an angry person. Sure, I’ve got a temper like anyone else on the planet, but my fuse is exceptionally long most days. Lately? I’m not angry at God. I’m not angry at Dad. I’m not even angry at the situation I’m in. I’m just… Don’t say the wrong thing to me right now.
I really do not like that. I prefer to bite my tongue. People say the darndest things when we simply stop and listen. From brilliance to idiocy. From truth to lies. I’ve got… maybe 3 draft posts right now that all originated from a place of anger in me. Reacting to the things that others said or did which truly set me off. Then I decided to catch up on my bible plan…
I have found though that the Lord has freed me from my knee-jerk desire to get into most arguments. I cannot explain just how liberating that is. Thoughts and ideas shared today that even two weeks ago would have absolutely sunk my mood or spun me into unleashing a rage filled rant where nobody was actually listening simply sail past me.
Now discussion and disagreement are not a bad thing. Through open dialog many issues can be resolved. However these days humanity seems to be losing it’s way. As the house is burning down around us, we argue over the temperature of the flames instead of seeking the fresh air and light which awaits us on the other side of that front door in the Word of God.
Lord God, please free me of this anger and stress driven need to complain, argue, and waste my words so I may turn my heart, soul, and mind to you fully. Help me to see and hear you work in my life. I know that you provide all I will ever need in this life, until thy kingdom come. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.