All posts tagged: Anger

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My open heart

Some days, I have to work hard to keep my heart open to people around me. I am reminded of a butterfly opening itself up as it pushes its beautiful wings back and exposing its fragile center and the warmth of its colorful wings. Somedays, I am the butterfly, pushing  back my comparisons, criticisms and expectations of those around me to keep my heart open despite how vulnerable I feel.  These decisions propel me forward and enable me to embrace those around me with more kindness and tolerance. I am learning not to take things so personally. It seems the more sure and secure I become of my identity and value in Christ, the less I need to judge or define others as arrogant, insensitive or rude. I am at peace with myself. I am good with me. “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18) It is my own insecurities, fears and sometimes victim mentality that creates …

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Have you been triggered lately?

Have you been triggered lately? The urban dictionary defines this as “Getting filled with hate after seeing, hearing or experiencing something you can’t stand.” In my experience, a triggered person is not responsible for their anger. Someone else’s fault opened the door to their rage and now anything could happen. Recently, a comedian Kathy Griffin posed with a faked severed head of President Donald Trump, Bill Maher used the “n” word in an interview, and Stephen Colbert has been criticized for something crude. Kathy Griffin, at least has received serious death threats for her offense. Related: Maher, Griffin, Colbert: Anti-Trump comedians are having a really bad moment: Washington Post So how did popular culture descend to crude violence and death threats? People were triggered. They are annoyed, usually by Donald Trump, so there are no limits on their behaviour, and now the other side is triggered and issuing death threats back at them. If this seems crazy to you, good. This is collective insanity, and it seems to be a thing these days. But Christians …

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Forgive for your heart’s sake

When Jesus spoke on forgiveness He was very clear on one thing: if we don’t forgive those who offend us, God would not forgive us. 14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (Matthew 6:14-15 NASV) I sometimes wonder if we struggle to forgive ourselves for things that we have done in the past, that it is a sign of spiritual blockages caused by our unwillingness to forgive. These blockages hinder us from fully experiencing God’s forgiveness. But an article on John Hopkins Medicine, Forgiveness: Your Health depends on It, provides one more reason to forgive. We need to do it for the sake of our physical health. Like many of God’s commandments, such as circumcision that improves a man’s health, the need to forgive is another section in God’s user’s manual on proper operation of the human body. According to the John Hopkins’ article, studies show that people who hold grudges and …

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Reigning it in

Smoke billowed upstairs and I ran down to see what was going on.  Something was left to slowly cook on a stove burner and no one was paying attention to the build up of smoke until it filled our nostrils and we couldn’t see through the haze. When I am angry my emotions build up in the same way until I am filled with its fumes and can’t see what is really happening. I want to blame someone, anyone except myself. At these moments, there is so much unleashed power at my fingertips and what happens next is up to me. I find it challenging to bring my anger to an immediate full stop. It’s like reigning in a team of runaway horses and slowly bringing them under control. You can’t bring them to an immediate full stop. It takes time and I am learning to slowly lead my anger away from a destructive end where a loved takes the brunt of my pent-up frustration. The Apostle Paul talks about taking our thoughts captive and …

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We Need More Sin in 2017?

We have a lot of complaining in the world. I wanted to give you a link to someone whining about something on video, but I can’t. This is a Christian blog and they all swear like angry sailors. Maybe try words like “millennial” or “Trump” or “Brexit” or “safe space” or “immigration” with a search engine. I’m sure you get the picture. You might see a video of a violently angry complainer, or maybe someone with an equally angry response. And I warned you about the swearing. I don’t remember people acting like this ten years ago; the world has changed. Now a democratic election is close to a civil war and people seem to hate their neighbors who vote for the other side. Arguments are loud and emotional and we win if we drown out the other side, or maybe insult them into silent shame, or steal their election signs. It’s a cage match between the Deplorables and the Snowflakes. Here’s a problem; we don’t have enough sin. We have loud emotional arguments, on …

Anger, bitterness and unforgiveness are linked

Now in their 80s and 90s, many survivors of the Nazi Holocaust were upset when a photo of Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, 81, surfaced earlier this year. It was a photo of Eva embracing Oskar Groening, 94, in a German courtroom in the city of Lunenburg. Groening had been a SS sergeant and chief accountant at Auschwitz concentration camp, the same camp the Nazis sent Eva and her Hungarian Jewish family to die. The courts found Groening guilty and complicit in the slaughter of 300,000 Jews in the Auschwitz gas chambers. Eva and her identical twin sister Miriam were ten when their family arrived at the concentration camp. As the cattle cars emptied, Eva recalls the Nazis scouring the hundred of Jews standing on the train platform. The guards were looking for identical twins. When a guard saw Eva and Miriam, he yanked them out of their mothers arms and took them away. They were of keen interest to Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi surgeon at the camp who used Jews for his brutal experiments. He …

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When anger sprouts a root

Many Christians view anger as sin, but surprisingly the Bible says under certain conditions it isn’t. In his letter, to the Ephesians Paul writes: 26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. (Ephesians 4:26 NASV). Other versions translate it more simply, “Be angry and sin not.” The fundamental thought behind this verse is that anger is not necessarily a sin. It is an emotional response to a negative event. In fact, the Bible records times when Jesus was angry. In Mark 3:4, 5, the Lord became angry when the Pharisees challenged the healing of a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. They were more concerned about keeping their legalistic interpretation of the law than seeing a person restored. Though angered by their response, Jesus also grieved about the hardness of their heart. But there are also times when the anger isn’t justified and it may be an indicator of sin. We see a hint of this back in Ephesians when Paul adds “do not …

Saint Elijah's Monastery in Mosul, Iraq. Dated to the sixth century, it is the oldest monastery in Iraq. Photo: Doug/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Forgiving through the fire

  Earlier this month, Islamic extremists burned a 12-year old Christian girl to death. She was living in Mosul, Iraq with her family when ISIS terrorists showed up at their home demanding the Coptic Christian family pay jizya. The jizya is a tax that over the centuries Muslims have forced Christians and Jews living in their territory to pay. The Muslim Qur’an mentions jizya , but does not specify how much the tax should be. Traditionally, it has been looked upon as a tax non-Muslims pay to practice their faith in Muslim countries. If paid, it is supposed to protect Christians from Muslim attacks.  It also indicates that the people being taxed are in submission to their Muslim rulers. Some Muslim Imams (teachers) even consider it a form of punishment for not being Muslim. Most Muslim nations do not impose the jizya, but it has made an appearance recently in areas controlled by ISIS and the Taliban. According to the British Newspaper The Express, when the jihadists showed up they demanded the family pay the …

Pastor calmly talks down Islamic terrorist threatening his church in Texas

Dressed in camouflage pants, a tactical vest, black t-shirt and camo boots, Rasheed Abdul Aziz, 40, showed up at Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Lake Palestine, Texas the afternoon of Sunday September 13, 2015 asking to see the pastor. The Tyler Morning Telegraph reported that though the morning service was over there were still several people in the building for an appreciation reception for the church’s worship team. When Aziz came to the church asking for prayer, a deacon took him to meet Rev John D. Johnson III, 45, who was in a room with his son. Johnson, a former parole officer, said the hair stood up on the back of his neck as soon as he saw Aziz. He knew there was trouble. Almost immediately Aziz, who was armed with a gun but hadn’t pulled it, became aggressive. He began yelling that he was a “man of Islam” and that God had sent him to kill any Christian and Jewish “infidels” who opposed Islam. Aziz also said he was being chased by demons. Johnson …

Road Rage

[by Earl Blacklock] I was driving down the street, almost oblivious to anything other than my plans for the day. Going down the street in front of my destination bookstore, I spotted the only parking spot, an angled spot directly in front. Life was good! After I parked, as I was about to open my door, I heard, then saw an outraged man shouting – nay, screaming at me. He was almost incoherent, but I managed to hear the words “You cut me off!” The man was raging at me with all the venom he could summon, demanding that I open the car door – something I quickly decided would be imprudent. Talking through the closed window, watching his clenched fists, I wondered whether he would break the window to get at me. Thankfully, after sharing with me the full extent of his expletive-filled vocabulary, he finally departed, likely thinking me properly rebuked.