“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
We live in a divided time- there seems to be no doubt about that.
Many are filled with anger and rage which often turns into malice.
On Facebook families have unfriended each other because of politics and ideologies. Perhaps you have unfriended someone or been unfriended because of what you have said.
We are unable to unsay hurtful things and yet we often feel compelled to say them anyways. Why?
We’ve all heard the expression “If you don’t have anything nice to say-don’t say it.” I know I heard that a billion times growing up from my mom and grandmother.
If we are honest with ourselves- we usually still often say those things, don’t we?
Paul, in our scripture, is reminding us we have to get rid of all that. There is no room in a Christ filled life for rage, slander, malice, brawling, or bitterness. Anger destroys us when we let it take up occupancy in our lives.
Right now, at this point in our history; it seems at times that nothing is harder to do than that. Paul might as well be telling us we only need to flap our arms really hard and we too can fly like the birds.
Many of us wake up frustrated, go throughout our day as such, and even go to bed exhausted from the anger we are engaged in on a daily basis.
Sometimes we are so busy fighting being right with those we engage we forget to stop and listen. We are right fighters at all cost.
I am not sure if you have found yourself like this lately but may we allow this Lent be a season to give all that up.
Do you have to be right? Do you need to have the other person be wrong? Can you both be right but in different ways?
We as Christians need to be true to Christ’s commandments and Paul’s instructions here. If we fail- if we are unable to live into that promise; what earthly hope does this world have?
Let us be the change agents in our communities, our faith groups, at our work, at our schools, and in our families. Let us listen in new ways and hear with new ears.
I don’t mean to imply you have to cave on your beliefs. Far from it- instead Paul is inviting us simply to be willing to listen and understand with kindness and love.
There is no greater example of the light and love of God than Jesus. Let us use his example as a model for how we continue as leaders of faith. In a world of anger and rage-we Christians tuly can be conduits of peace and understanding.
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
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