Lately I have felt mad about several things and people and situations.
I bet you have felt mad, too. It’s rather a part of being a people with breath, I think. And you know what? It’s actually okay to be mad, to get angry, to feel ready turn over some tables even. When we train our kids about character or even think about it in ourselves, we feel like being mad is one of the ones we need to push under the rug–and make everything nice.
But it isn’t. In fact, God Himself gets mad. He acts on it. Scripture says that in our anger, we must choose to not sin.
That is where it gets tricky. For we need discernment to distinguish what is acting out in sin and what is actually a good anger…the kind that sets wrongs to right.
Again, it takes a guarded heart and mind to go forth in it.
For instance, I am truly mad about the misinformation and fear-mongering being spread through news and social media. It has created anxiety in my dearest ones. It has kept people I love and care about from being together. And it isn’t right.
I had an acquaintance once bring her children, who tested positive for chicken pox, to the nursery at church. It really made people angry. For her poor decision-making led to consequences for others. And that is frustrating, because it was a preventable situation.
In that vein, we are faced with those decisions today with COVID-19. But listen, we HAVE to keep on living our lives. In the church example above, she knew her children had chicken pox and she came anyway. We should wisely discern for ourselves how to live our lives, in line with wisdom from God. The mental toll this is taking is mounting for us all. We are all on edge.
Then, and I hate to admit this, I know there are some dear friends to me, who have a different opinion about what and how and when. And that makes me sad that we are not in full agreement. But listen, this is truly where as believers we must learn to disagree without discrediting others. Then we step into slandering them. And that is sin.
I think of Paul and Barnabus and how they disagreed over John Mark, then went separate ways. It is a sad fact that friends sometimes disagree over certain points that they can not get past. But you know what? I didn’t read anywhere of them discrediting one another or slandering. They just went separate ways. And it served to spread the gospel further! Leave it to God to take our messes and make them beautiful wins! (As a bonus, it appears that reconciliation happened in Paul and John Mark’s situation because of this verse here.)
I shared something today on social media that fits in line with what I’m trying to say here:
You get to be the gate keeper for your own mind for the sake of being focused on the path God has placed you on.
Sometimes on the narrow path, there are other voices hollering from other paths and places. But they are not going the same way. Do not follow them.
Go ahead, unfollow them–mute them, too. This is a FOR you decision. We are on overload, so we need to be about ONE thing–desire God above all else. If the voices you are allowing to speak in your day don’t point you to Him and instead they distract you FROM Him, shut the door.
Life is no buffet–not everything gets to speak into your day. Be focused upon & listen to what you are listening to. As I tell my kids, go for the porterhouse steak. Choose what is best. And that? That is the voice of the LORD in your ear saying, this is the way, walk in it.
Being mad is one of those emotions we feel in stages of grief. Right now, we are grieving so many losses–lives either lost to death, celebrations cancelled or delayed, so many changes in schooling for kids, businesses closing, jobs lost, friends divided, opinions differing. And as with everything in a stream, these things have to come to a head.
At that place, we must decide and discern to act in a way that will most likely change our futures. We may lose or disappoint friends and loved ones. We may have to continue on without them. It is a hard thing. But friends, God promises to make all things beautiful in their time. So give to Him your everything…your disappointments, angst, frustrations and zealous anger over it all. Ask Him to do what ONLY He can.
And sometimes? Sometimes God has allowed just such a situation to propel you forward into HIS next for you.