Tag Archive: Patience

When Love Trumps Anger

October 26, 20l2
When Love Trumps Anger
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth
“My dear brothers, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” – James 1:19-20 (NIV).

Friend To Friend
“I’m a terrible mom!”

Do you ever say these words? I do. I did that day. The day I was working in my office, minding my own business, when my oldest son threw a paper airplane at the back of my head.  Not one to normally welcome an air attack, I gave him the stern “mom voice,” and asked him to stop messing around. I told him to give me some private time so I could get some work done. He agreed, and turned to leave. Surprisingly, he then jumped around and threw it at me again!  Well, let me tell you, my grace-o-meter was reading pretty low at this point!  I barked like an angry dog.  “What in the world do you think you are doing?  I just told you that I needed to be left alone so I can get some work done!  Stop it!”

“But Mom, there’s a message on the plane,” he tenderly replied. “Read it.”

As I unfolded the airplane made of orange construction paper, I saw this message written in pink marker:  “Mom, I Love You.” His affectionate declaration was followed by a few X’s and O’s. You know: hug, hug, kiss, kiss. Pure precious. Big fail.

“Nice!” I said to myself. “Loser-mom strikes again.”  I had scolded my son and reacted out of frustration with an unkind tone. All the while, my son was trying to communicate love to me.

I felt horrible. Time seemed to stand still as I started to beat myself up.

Shame began to fill my heart, but as it did the Spirit of God within me gently nudged – reminding me that condemnation is not from Him … that His conviction was purposed to spur me on toward choosing a godly response.  So I chose love – God’s love alive in me.  As I chose God’s better way, the grace way, His love trumped my anger.  It’s weightier.  Praise God!

I called my son back into my office, and apologized for my behavior.  I welcomed this tall, lanky teen to sit on my lap and told him that – while I’m not particularly fond of airplane attacks, especially while I’m working, I am fond of love attacks.  We held each other and had a very sweet moment.

As Preston and I hugged, God reminded me of this principle: When we allow His love to trump our anger, we are able to experience restoration in relationships.

My dear brothers, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires (James 1:19-20 NIV).

The Bible tells us that we are to be slow to anger.  It is a lesson that I am still learning.  Now, that doesn’t mean we should never be angry.  Jesus exhibited righteous anger in the Jerusalem temple when he drove out the merchants that were buying and selling there.  Righteous anger is permissible.  We should be angry about sin and injustice.  But when we respond to others in anger, it becomes our sin.

Got any relationships that are in need of restoration?  Is there any anger, unforgiveness, or bitterness in your heart that might be gaining a stronghold in your life and keeping you from God’s best?  The benefits of allowing the love of God to trump the anger in your heart are tremendous, but the application can be very challenging.  We can’t overcome our natural, sinful tendencies to react, and overreact, in anger alone.  We need God’s help.  His strength will meet us at our need when we call on Him.  The Holy Spirit will help us to respond in God’s strength, not our own.

Call on His strength today.

Let’s Pray
Holy Father, Thank you for leading me in Your way of grace today. I need Your help!  I confess my anger/bitterness/unforgiveness right now with _______________.  Please forgive me.  Please bring restoration to the relationships that have been affected by my anger.  Help me recognize when I over-react or when I respond in anger that is ungodly.  Give me the strength to respond in love – to be slow to speak and quick to listen – so that You can be glorified through my behavior.
In Jesus’ Name,



Be Still

“And the Lord appeared unto Isaac the same night” (Gen. 26:24).

“Appeared the same night,” the night on which he went to Beer-sheba. Do you think this revelation was an accident? Do you think the time of it was an accident? Do you think it could have happened on any other night as well as this? If so, you are grievously mistaken. Why did it come to Isaac in the night on which he reached Beer-sheba? Because that was the night on which he reached rest. In his old locality, he had been tormented. There had been a whole series of petty quarrels about the possession of paltry wells. There are no worries like little worries, particularly if there is an accumulation of them. Isaac felt this. Even after the strife was past, the place retained a disagreeable association. He determined to leave. He sought change of scene. He pitched his tent away from the place of former strife. That very night the revelation came. God spoke when there was no inward storm. He could not speak when the mind was fretted; His voice demands the silence of the soul. Only in the hush of the spirit could Isaac hear the garments of his God sweep by. His still night was his starry night.

My soul, hast thou pondered these words, “Be still, and know”? In the hour of perturbation, thou canst not hear the answer to thy prayers. How often has the answer seemed to come long after I The heart got no response in the moment of its crying — in its thunder, its earthquake, and its fire. But when the crying ceased, when the stillness fell, when thy hand desisted from knocking on the iron gate, when the interest of other lives broke the tragedy of thine own, then appeared the long-delayed reply. Thou must rest, O soul, if thou wouldst have thy heart’s desire. Still the beating of thy pulse of personal care. Hide thy tempest of individual trouble behind the altar of a common tribulation and, that same night, the Lord shall appear to thee. The rainbow shall span the place of the subsiding flood, and in thy stillness thou shalt hear the everlasting music. –George Matheson

Mary Had a Little Lamb

June 14, 2012
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young (Isaiah 40:11, NIV).

Friend to Friend
As a little girl, I really did have a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow. I can remember the day my mother showed me the lamb and explained that she did not have a bottle with which to feed the stray lamb. I did. I agreed to let the lamb have my bottle if I could have the lamb. I have been fascinated by the unique relationship between sheep and their shepherd ever since.

Shepherds live with their sheep, finding places for them to eat and drink, providing shelter from the storms and protection from the heat. Sheep must eat the right amount of the right kinds of grass at the right times…or they will die. If the sheep eat too little one day and too much the next day, some of the bacteria that live in the stomach of the sheep will reproduce at abnormal levels, creating toxins which cause sudden death. This problem was even more complicated for the shepherds of the Bible.

The type of shepherding referred to in the Bible is not the farming of fenced pasture lands but nomadic grazing. The shepherd must carefully plan the path and lead the way so the sheep have neither too little nor too much grazing and are able to get to the water hole on time. Pastures are often lost to extreme heat which means the shepherd has to scour the countryside in search of green grass. Several flocks of sheep are gathered together at night in a sheltered place so shepherds can share the watches of the night, protecting the sheep from wild animals and thieves. Good shepherds are always willing to risk their lives to save their flocks from any harm, any enemy and even from themselves.

Sheep are dumb, can never be left alone and often stray, requiring the shepherd to find and rescue them.  A shepherd never pushes his sheep but rather leads his sheep, going before them, making sure they are not walking into danger. The needs of sheep, compared to the needs of other animals, are greater because of their instinct to be afraid and when faced with a fearful situation, to run. Without a shepherd to care for the sheep, they will not last long.

Personally, I definitely fit the profile of a sheep. I can’t count the number of times I have stubbornly stuck to my plan, foolishly thinking that it was better than His plan, only to end up in some pit somewhere, calling for help. Psalm 40:1-3 has become my life maxim – with one exception. I rarely wait patiently! Remember, I am a sheep!

Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD” (NIV).

I sometimes allow fear to drive me to a place where I am trapped by doubts and darkness…until He rescues me. I try to satisfy my hunger by eating the wrong things found in the wrong places at the wrong times. The result is always the same; my soul remains ravenous for what is good while stuffing my heart and mind with what is bad.

Like every sheep, I don’t like to be pushed. Good shepherds do not push, no matter how great the temptation.  A good shepherd stands in front of his sheep, gently calling their names, leading them to a place where he has already been, positioning himself between danger and his sheep. When I am tired and ready to give up, I tend to withdraw from the other sheep and even from my Shepherd. Many of us have somehow bought into the lie that we can make it on our own or that the rules, the commandments of God, do not necessarily apply to us…just those other sheep. The longer I serve God, the more I realize just how much we need each other and how much we need Him.  When will I learn that I cannot do life on my own – as a sheep or as a shepherd?

A good shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his sheep, just as Jesus Christ laid down His life for you and for me. I am so glad He was willing to lay down His life for every single sheep – the cute, fluffy ones as well as the dirty, broken lambs like me. Maybe it is time for us all to stop, listen for His voice, seek His plan and remember that we are indeed needy sheep who are called to love and lead other needy sheep to the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

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