Monthly archives: July, 2017

Too Hot (Headed) to Handle

 

Here’s a question for you…Are you touchy, irritable, quick-tempered, quick to take offense? Are you known for flying off the handle?

 

On my “good” days, maybe not so much. But, I’d say I find myself being most of those more often than I’d like to admit. You, too?

 

According to the Apostle Paul, these are things that love is not:

“touchy” (TLB),

“irritable” (NLT),

“quick tempered” (CEV),

“quick to take offense” (NEB),

“easily angered” (NIV),

And love “doesn’t fly off the handle” (MSG).

 

The first mention of anger in the Bible is in the story of Cain and Abel. You’ve heard of them, right? Cain felt rejected when God accepted Abel and his gift, but he didn’t accept his. Cain got angry, so angry in fact that he killed his brother!  Remember the sons of Jacob who felt rejected by their father? They saw how he pampered their brother and neglected them.  This made the brothers angry enough to sell their brother into slavery (Genesis 37:4).  Let’s not forget how Saul felt rejected by his people.  They chose little, “nobody”  David over the appointed King himself.  How’d that go? Saul was ticked off and angry (1 Samuel 18:7-8 NASB).

 

Anger. You’ll read about it over 400 times in the Bible and more often than not it goes hand in hand with rejection.  You get hurt. Because you get hurt you get hot headed, a harsh tone emerges, a door slamming party begins, and sometimes heads roll (figuratively speaking… hopefully). Anger becomes our defense mechanism.  It’s something we feel we can’t shake. We almost become rage addicts.

 

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. What if we step back and look at our situation that makes us feel angry? The one that has left us feeling rejected. What if we really, really, took to heart that God does the opposite of reject us.  He accepts us…like not just tolerates, but accepts us? Doesn’t this sound like a Christian cliché? But, its truth.  Some days I’d like to tattoo that on my forehead because I can’t seem to escape that heart-wrenching, deep feeling of rejection.  And I have to remind myself that, “He (God) will rejoice over you (me?) with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV).

 

We may have a sibling that’s the” favorite” (insert eye roll), someone else may have the title we want, or we may feel that what we do is never enough or that we’re not good enough. We’re going to feel the sting of rejection. We can’t control that. It’s gonna happen. We can control how we react and if we let anger win.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love…” (Ephesians 4:2)


Honor Is An Act Of Grace

 

There is something about honor that’s difficult to put into words, yet, we know it when we see it.

 

As kids, our parents couldn’t help but quote this one particular verse to us especially when we were a wee bit misbehaving…“Honor your father and mother” (Ephesians 6:2 ESV). And the lesson in honor seemed to continue as we were in our teenage years (eye rolls included), “Honor the king and those in authority over us” (1 Peter 2:17, Romans 13:1-6).

 

But there is a short sentence about honor in Romans 12 that really stands out to me.  It gives clarity to what honor means. “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (verse 10 ESV).Paul is saying that we should convey incomparable honor to those around us. Honor that is equally and extravagantly exchanged. And lest we think we can get off the hook with thinking somebody doesn’t deserve it, that’s addressed here too.  “On those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor” (1 Corinthians 12:23).

 

So who is the “less honorable” people in your everyday life? The down and out, the elderly or disabled person walking in front of you slowing you down, your annoying co-worker, a different race, the guy who begs for money every day on the corner you pass by, the family member who continues to make poor decisions. We are commanded to love and honor them all the more, “Love is not rude…(love honors)” (1 Corinthians 13).

 

It’s this honor that God exhibits toward us through the gospel. Unexpectedly, we who were His enemies, orphans, beggars, naked and ashamed, have been purified, dressed, seated at His table, and get this…called His sons and daughters. God says, “I know everything about you and I still love and value you the same.” What love.

 

It’s been said that in all honesty, no one except God Himself is truly deserving of it, honor is an act of grace. It is giving someone else what they don’t always deserve and can never earn.

 

Go out of your way to interact with your “less honorable” person this week. Decide you are going to take some action to show them honor. You already know who it is, don’t you?

 

 

 

“Honor is a gift that you give freely.” – Craig Groeschel