Be Still Know
Matthew 21:13 NLT
He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”
The lack of change I notice within myself about anger concerns me. I have, until recently, only seen little differences in my responses from my 18-year-old self to my contemporary self. Yet, slowly I am seeing some light in what has been a bleak landscape.
The other morning I caught my toe on the end of our bed; it really hurt. Jayne was present and I knew that she was observing which route I might adopt. My traditional process would have been to swear or react with a verbal torrent and probably ‘discipline’ the bed by hitting it with something. See, like I have written on earlier occasions, sometimes I am not nice to know! However I said “ouch”, sat down on the bed, massaged my bruised toe, and tried to catch my breath as the pain was quite intense. Even as I did this, without much premeditation, I might add, I observed Jayne relax and naturally commiserate with me.
This was a different reaction and shows that increasingly, I am effectively managing my anger. I can’t convey how wonderful this feels. I credit the work of the Holy Spirit and the patient, unfailing love of Jayne to confront and endure my reactions to circumstance alongside her brave interventions. I now recognise that anger is not about me; it is how my behaviour might impact another.
Perhaps Jesus is incensed at the prices charged to the poor so they might make sacrifice and fulfil their service to God. Perhaps it is the degree to which external practice had come to replace inner authenticity in prayerfully approaching a merciful God.
It is in thinking of others ahead of ourselves that the true path of Christian discipleship lies. Jesus represents the interests of his Father. He then makes his way to the cross on your behalf. Consider where and how you might die to self and live out of service of both God and others. This is the greatest commandment.
QUESTION: What shortcoming of yours most impacts those around you?
PRAYER: Lord God, help me to see, consider and love those who I encounter today.