Posted by: pastortomvabeach | May 23, 2016

Thought for the Week May 29, 2016

Pastor Cheryl Pickford sent me a great “thought” that I think is valuable to pass on to you. The following is what she wrote:

I once worked with a woman who was always angry. It didn’t matter if the sun was shining, or if it was raining. It didn’t matter if she found a close parking space, or a great bargain when shopping. It didn’t matter if her kids picked up after themselves or her husband took her out for dinner. It didn’t seem to matter what anybody did for her, it was never enough and something about the action always caused her to complain and her anger to flare. A compliment was considered to be an insult. Laughter at a joke was always interpreted to be aimed at her. Sometimes just the presence of other co-workers in the room was enough to set her off.

She controlled the entire workplace with her anger; even the managers were cowed by her outbursts. People walked on eggshells until someone tripped up and became the recipient of her wrath. The others, relieved to avoid the upbraiding, usually joined in piling on whoever had the unfortunate luck of setting her off, relieved that they had lived for another day.

Maybe you know someone who suffers from this malady. Psychologists tell us that this kind of behavior feeds itself. Those temper tantrums release endorphins in the brain, and a person can become “hooked” on these feel-good chemicals. When they wear off, another “fix” is required to make them feel good again. This self-destructive behavior alienates others and actually shortens the life of the anger addict.

We live in an angry world. One only needs to tune in the nightly news to become aware of the spirit of offense that permeates our society. People are offended by others’ dress, speech, actions, and beliefs. Instead of maturely agreeing to disagree with opposing views, our politically correct culture is ready to engage in angry battle. Our societal “go-to” course of action seems to increasingly be reacting in anger and punishing the offending party.

People sometimes respond in anger out of fear, as a consequence of poor decisions they have made, from a feeling of victimhood, and from jealousy of what other people possess. The old adage of “Birds of a feather flock together” rings especially true here; we have a lot of very “Angry Birds” out there, flocking together and angrily complaining as they stir each other up.

The Bible warns us about the dangers of associating with angry people. Proverbs 22:24-25 warns that such relationships can be a snare. Proverbs 29:22 warns that it can lead to sin. Be careful with whom you spend time. The behavior that you expose yourself to can quickly become your “normal” and intense exposure to chronically angry people can plant seeds of destruction in your life.

Perhaps you recognize that you are being caught up in the swirling red tide of anger. All is not lost. Neurologists claim that time you resist acting on your anger, you are actually REWIRING your brain to be calmer and more loving. You can overcome anger outbursts.

How should a Believer walk in a world saturated with anger? Ephesians 4:31-32 (AMP) reads: Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper)and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind). And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another (readily and freely), as God in Christ forgave you.

As we strive to make Jesus known in our families and communities, may we keep our minds focused on the message in Ephesians and walk in love and compassion instead of hooking in to the rage and contention that permeates our culture. May we walk differently than the world around us.

Thanks, Pastor Cheryl, for this timely thought. Now, Lord, help us get our hearts and hands around it. Just a thought.

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