Thursday, January 12, 2012

Anger Defused

There are plenty of times I don't want to pray.  Sometimes I'm busy.  Sometimes I'm tired.  Sometimes I'm distracted.  But sometimes, I just don't want to pray because it might involve praying for someone I'm mad at.  I hate doing that.  We're told to do it, so what makes it so uncomfortable? 

I think it is because it is hard to stay angry at someone when you're praying for them!  I think I want to stay angry at them, and I just know that asking God to help them and be with them and grant them wisdom and grace and safety is going to make me less annoyed with them.  It might remind me that they are God's children too.  It might make me think that our disagreement is minor in comparison to eternity.  It might make me think they have their own perspective and reason for thinking or doing something.  It might remind me they have feelings too.  And nobody wants to think that way if they're angry.

I read in a book recently that it is a good idea to pray with someone if you're about to discuss a disagreement with them.  My first thought was, "Gee, that takes the fun out of it it, doesn't it?"  I laughed.  Yes, that's probably the idea entirely.  Remove the attractive appeal of anger and you might actually get somewhere with the disagreement.

Anger doesn't give us the right to ignore what God says.  It isn't a hall pass to get around that whole loving our neighbor commandment.  There is no exception granted just because the neighbor is an idiot or thinks differently or drives too slow.

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