I got really angry and frustrated last week. I was so mad at a couple of people I just wanted to scream and for a moment at least I wanted to hurt them physically. I care about these same people deeply, but I was so mad at them in the moment. I was ready to call them up and give them a piece of my mind, rake them over the coals, verbally abuse them and I wanted to write mean things about them and put it on social media. Thankfully, I didn’t do any of that. I stewed and ranted for a while and then I breathed deeply and prayed to God. Peace!
Later that day I saw an article a minister friend of mine Steve Hay had recommended. Steve had been struck by an article the Rev Shane Bishop had written. I don’t know what Steve was stressed about, but the article by Rev Bishop spoke to me as well and I hope it will speak to you.
Rev Bishop wrote about the 7 lights to try and live by. Lets face it he says, there is a lot of heat these days. It is hot out there. Times are divisive, the world is frenzied. Everyone feels the need to give their opinion on everything and often times without a sense of civility. And many opinions, Rev Bishop writes contain more heat than light.
Here are 7 lights to try and live by:
- Realize you may not be right (at least not on everything). First take the log out of your own eye says Jesus, then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your neighbors eye.
- Listen as much as you speak and read as much as you write. My mom used to say God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason Charles. Read and then read some more. Reading more widely makes us better informed people.
- Treat everyone well (especially people who disagree with you) Remember, even when we disagree, it is people we are talking about, not just ideas.
- Control your impulses (don’t get drawn into nasty threads or return hate with hate). You don’t have to comment on everything, just let it go. Self control is one of the Fruits of the Spirit, we ought to practice it more.
- Try not to take everything so personally (this is huge if we can get it). I find it really hard to do, but I’m working on it.
- Pray for people who offend you rather than respond to people who offend you. Try it! Get a PBVP (Pray Before You Post) bracelet.
- Remember, the people whose positions stress you out are equally stressed out by your positions ( a lesson in self awareness).
Turn down the heat and turn on some light.
It is hot enough this summer. Lets drop the temperature and instead bring some light into the darkness. That is what I hoping to try and do, especially when I’m really mad.