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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why Are You So Angry?

Photo credit: lesterp4 from

It would seem that anger is everywhere - on the roads, in the home and in the workplace. Road rage has taken lives; in the home children and parents, husbands and wives scream at each other and violence often erupts in places of employment. Why is there so much anger? If you find yourself becoming angry very often, you may need to slow down and try to determine what are the underlying reasons for your anger.

Your anger may stem from one or more of the following:

1. Fear. Surprisingly enough, a person who is angry is usually afraid of something. This quote from a Star Wars episode states, "Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering."

2. Frustration. Are you frustrated by your attempts to succeed at something and always coming up short? If you are always frustrated, pretty soon you'll become angry.

3. Exhaustion. Have you found that you become irritable when you are tired? That irritation can turn into anger if you don't slow down and get some rest.

4. Environment. Anger can also be learned. If you live in an environment where everyone is angry all the time, you'll soon follow their example.

5. Worry. This often leads to fear, which, as we saw above can turn into anger.

Anger in itself is not always a bad thing. It's how that anger is channeled that will determine whether you overcome it or allow it to overcome you. Ecclesiastes 7 : 9 says, "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry : for anger resteth in the bosom of fools." Ephesians 4 : 26 says, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:" However, there are many references to people in the Bible who became angry. Remember Moses? Great man of God, chosen to lead God's people out of the bondage of Egypt. But if Moses had a psychiatrist he would have ended up in anger management classes. Because he couldn't control his anger, he was not allowed to enter the promised land.

Is your anger preventing you from enjoying the promises that God has for you? If yes, you need to confess it before God and ask Him to remove it from you. Jesus warned, "whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say , Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matthew 5 : 22).

Anger can be a destructive force that prevents you from enjoying God's best and also land you in a lot of trouble. It can also be the catalyst that drives you to make positive changes in your life and the lives of others. In the coming weeks I will continue to explore other aspects of this emotion.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Like Father Like Sons

I've been reading from the book of Genesis about Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah. For those of you who have never heard of these people, Isaac was Abraham's promised son,who was born to him when he was a hundred years old and his wife Sarah was ninety. Isaac and Rebekah had twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob tricked Esau into giving up his birthright, then later, on Rebekah's urging, tricked his father into blessing him instead of Esau, the firstborn.

Fast forward a few years and Jacob is now married with children. He has twelve sons who will become the twelve tribes of Israel. However, all those sons, except Joseph, the father's favorite, turned out to be tricksters as well. Look at their track record. A young man named Shechem fell in love with their sister Dinah and slept with her. The young man went to his father and told him he wanted to marry Dinah. But when Jacob's sons heard about it, they were furious. Instead of confronting the young man about what he had done, they agreed to the marriage, but on one condition: Shechem and all the men of his city must first be circumcised. The men agreed, and when they were weak and in pain from the circumcision, two of Jacob's sons went and killed all the men. When Jacob heard what they had done, he was afraid for his life, because he thought surely the Canaanites would kill them.

Following that, Reuben, his oldest son, slept with Bilhah, his father's concubine. All the Bible says about that is that Jacob heard of it. Jacob's sons again brought grief to their father when they sold their younger brother, Joseph, whom their father loved, to some slave traders. They took the coat that Jacob had made for Joseph, dipped it in blood and told their father that a wild beast must have killed the boy. Jacob pledged to mourn for Joseph until he died. And even though they witnessed their father's grief, they never confessed what they had done until years later.

As parents we must be careful how we live our lives, because our children learn by example, and our wrong deeds can come back to haunt us. God blessed Jacob exceedingly, changing his name to Israel and promising to make his descendants like the sand of the sea, but that didn't stop him from suffering grief at the hands of his children. (Read Genesis 34, 35 and 37).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

There's No Charge For Being A Mother

Pink Roses Mothers Day image
Mothers Day Graphics

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mothers out there. Whether you are married, single, an adoptive mother, godmother, grandmother, wherever you fall on the spectrum of motherhood, I salute you today. My own mother is long gone, but I still wish she were here so I could tell her how much she meant to me. If you are fortunate enough to still have your mother, take some time off today to tell her how special she is.

As I wrote in my book Women For All Seasons, God could have chosen a different way for His Son to come to this earth, but He chose that He should enter the womb of a woman and be born as a little baby. What an honor! What a privilege! So mothers, take some time to celebrate yourselves for the great distinction God has bestowed on you - the means to bring another human being into this world. I'm not writing a lot today, but I'm posting two videos by Shirley Cesar that I'm sure will bless your heart as they have blessed mine. The first one is I Love You Mama and the other is the perennial favorite No Charge. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

What Do You Want From God?

If God were to ask you that question, how would you reply? Would you say, Lord, I want you to bless me indeed. Or would you ask for perfect health, a perfect mate, a better job, a bigger house? God asked King Solomon that question and Solomon replied, "...give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3 : 9).

And what was God's response?  "I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.  Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor —so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.  And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life” ( v 12 - 14).

Don't you just love it when God gives you more than you ask for? But you must ask with the right motive. James says that we lust after things and expect God to bless us with these things.  He says, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures" (James 4 : 3).

So what should we ask for and how should we ask? There's nothing wrong with asking God for health, a mate (there's no perfect mate), a better job or a bigger house, but when those things are asked for out of covetousness and discontent, then we have a problem. James says, " Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.   Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up" (v 8 - 10) . 1 Timothy 6 : 6 says, "Godliness with contentment is great gain."

So when we come to God, our motives must be pure and we must be content, whether God answers our prayers the way we want Him to or not. That may be difficult, but God requires humility and contentment.