Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Angry Day

I hesitate to write this post mainly because it is obvious from our blog that we are Christians, & I don't want to do anything that brings shame on Christ. My hope is that this post will instead show that Christians aren't perfect, but we are forgiven & are constantly undergoing sanctification.

I am angry today. Actually, it started last night. But before I even tell you about last night, let me remind you that my parents are coming tomorrow for my birthday. I'm very excited! But, if you know me at all, you know that I obsess over my house being perfect when anyone comes over. And when something hinders that, my temper flares. Which leads me to last night. My beloved bought a new pair of jeans that needed alteration. Long story extremely short, I sat down to taper (yea, me!) & hem them & got up 2 hours later, completely frustrated. I had more than one little tearful melt-down because for some reason still altogether unknown to me, the bobbin thread was a tangled mess not once, not twice, but 4 times. Meaning that the seam had to be ripped out 4 times! It finally (thankfully!) started working right, but no one would have thought me godly when I was in the midst of this project. To make matters worse, all this sewing made me get into bed 2 hours later than I should have to be fully rested for church this morning. Me minus a full 8 hours' sleep is not a pretty picture. So began another day of frustration.

And how did my day start? Well, with the hot water turning to frigid well before the end of my shower. Cold shower in the middle of the winter is, shall we say, unpleasant. But the rest of the morning went well, & off to church we went. We left church & stopped at Sonic for lunch because the meal that I fixed last night & planned for lunch leftovers was ruined by tough meat. Again, long story very short (I promise, you want that) after sitting in the drive through - as the first car, mind you - for almost 15 minutes, we get home to find the order wrong & the fry cartons half full. Tired & hungry do not a good combination make in this situation! But things always look better after some rest, so I laid down for a nap with my sweet Michael.

I woke up much earlier than I expected because I was sick to my stomach - I know, I know, that's what I get. I decided to get busy meeting the ever-dimming goal of house-perfecting, beginning with the kitchen. Upon opening the dishwasher to unload the dishes, what do I find, but several still dirty dishes! Thanks to this little development, I now have 2 more loads to wash instead of just one. On top of it all, my babies were chewing rawhides when about 15 minutes ago, there was this huge "CRACK!" & I found that Ginger has broken not one, but 2 teeth! Like, seriously?! If I were on the outside looking in, this whole thing would be comical.

Now, I've been a Christian long enough to know that when I'm bombarded with the same sorts of situations or temptations, God's busy getting my attention. In all of these instances, God is sovereignly working to graciously show me my sin of anger. It is an area in which I need loads of work. As I've said before, one verse that really speaks to me is James 1:19-21:

"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls."

I've already proven that I can't do this on my own. I am an angry person by nature. It certainly helps me to recite these verses to myself when I'm tempted to anger, but sometimes it happens so quickly that my faculties leave me, & I forget to turn to God's Word. The beauty of these verses is that they display both man's responsibility & God's work. We work to "be slow to anger" (in this instance) & to "put away all filthiness & rampant wickedness". But God implants His Word in our hearts, & all we're to do is "receive [it] with meekness"!

"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey My rules." (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

I am responsible to follow God's commands & kill my own sin. But if I stop there, I become burdened by the knowledge that I can't do so. So, Paul reminds me that it is God who works in me. He gives me both the desire & the ability to obey Him. I can overcome my sin of anger - & every other sin - as long as I'm relying on God.

"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:12-13)

"For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13)

And joy of joys, when I do fail - which as a sinner, I'm still going to do - I am freely given forgiveness upon repentance. I rely on Jesus' sacrifice on the cross to cover over my sin. I'm assured that I stand accepted, loved, & clothed in Christ's righteousness before God.

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith." (Romans 3:23-25)

"For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)


Jennifer Dean said...

I can relate to this post soooo much!! I find myself in the exact same place most days and this is the area where I think I've seen the least amount of growth in my spiritual life! Please pray for me and I will do the same for you that God would continue to make us aware of our weaknesses and need for Him while reminding us of the hope we have in Christ, causing us to be ever so grateful for the price He has paid for us on that cross! I love you guys!