I get a weekly devotional from Max Lucado’s email ministry UpWords. This is an excerpt from his book “No Wonder They Call Him the Savior”. I know lots of nice cynical Christians don’t like Mr. Max Lucado much, but I do. I find his words to be comforting, funny, easy to understand for the Christian newbie, and they flow together nicely.
This week’s devotional is on….. Guess!……. No, really, Guess!
Anger! Hidden Anger! Forgiveness!
Boy, when God wants to make sure you get a message He really knows how to cover all the bases. Anyway, i thought it was worth reading, and it is certainly on the same topic I’ve posted about and been thinking alot about recently.
Here is part of it:
They Don’t Know What They Are Doing by Max Lucado
Anger. It’s a peculiar yet predictable emotion. It begins as a drop of water. An irritant. A frustration. Nothing big, just an aggravation. Someone gets your parking place. Someone pulls in front of you on the freeway. A waitress is slow and you are in a hurry. The toast burns. Drops of water. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.
Yet, get enough of these seemingly innocent drops of anger and before long you’ve got a bucket full of rage. Walking revenge. Blind bitterness. Unharnessed hatred. We trust no one and bare our teeth at anyone who gets near. We become walking time bombs that, given just the right tension and fear, could explode.
Yet, what do we do? We can’t deny that our anger exists. How do we harness it? A good option is found in Luke 23:34. Here, Jesus speaks about the mob that killed him. “‘Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’”
(Several paragraphs on how we are all angry and confused omitted here for brevity)
Now, I know that doesn’t justify anything. That doesn’t justify hit-and-run drivers or kiddie-porn peddlers or heroin dealers. But it does help explain why they do the miserable things they do.
My point is this: Uncontrolled anger won’t better our world, but sympathetic understanding will. Once we see the world and ourselves for what we are, we can help. Once we understand ourselves we begin to operate not from a posture of anger but of compassion and concern. We look at the world not with bitter frowns but with extended hands. We realize that the lights are out and a lot of people are stumbling in the darkness. So we light candles.