"Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil." Psalm 37:8
I had a life altering conversation with a close friend last night. After letting him in on how great things have been going with my family, how I've really been overcoming and dealing with some health issues as well as how my work situation frustrates me more than watching Lifetime movies while the Lakers are on, he noticed a strange sense of anger and entitlement concerning my current circumstances. He asked me a couple questions that were a little out of the norm in my opinion considering I had no scripted answer. I decided to open up a little bit more and after explaining to him that I have really been surprised by how difficult and upsetting it's been for me to not feel back to "myself" after dealing with anxiety the past year and a half as well as how I can't stand the field of work I'm currently in he asked , "Have you ever had to eat Top Ramen?". I replied, "Of course I have" slightly giggling as every person that has gone to college has eaten Ramen. But being so tired I absolutely missed the point. (In my defense, if we measured my depth as a thinker last night when I walked in the door I'd say I was about as deep as the ocean in Death Valley.) As I'm sure you can tell, asking this question was his way of asking if I've ever had to deal with tough times. He then said, "I mean, really, what are you angry about? Why do you feel things should be perfect all the time? Haven't you ever had to work for anything? Things aren't perfect for anybody else, why should they be perfect for you?".
This was the part I was not expecting. I had to look at the cause of my anger and entitlement issues. (A slight bummer when I planned on watching the finale of the "Bachelorette".) My answer to him was, "Hmm, well, I don't know what I'm angry about, I do expect to 'feel' normal all the time, and I guess everything in my life has come pretty easy...but I always work hard (had to plug myself). I haven't really had to spend long periods of time in order to see success though." My own response made it clear to me that my anger and fear were stemming from the fact that I've never learned to trust anybody other than myself, and because I had the ability to make things turn out as I wanted them to go in the past, I have never have had to patiently wait for anything. Now, as life is taking some uncontrollable turns over the past 18 months, my response is to whine, complain and get mad as I no longer have the answers.
We talked a while longer and I was able to realize something very important, if we are playing God in our own lives, we are only one uncontrollable situation away from "losing it". As trends forecaster Gerald Celente is quoted as saying "When people have nothing to lose, they lose IT!" When I come to a place of frustration, I feel as though I have nothing to lose and in response I become angry and am willing to do whatever it takes to get back to a place of "normalcy". This morning, as I read this scripture, it took on a whole new meaning for me as I considered the fact that every time I sit in God's place in my life, each failure leads to evil as I can't help but get angry. So what then is the response to the truth of today's short verse?
The truth always comes back to letting go of the tight grip we have on our own lives and the sense of entitlement that goes along with expecting everything to turn out as we believe it should. These types of expectations are the seeds we plant that bloom as anger and frustration. Realistically, we can only become angry, if we (or somebody else out of compassion) is being wronged. That's entitlement! If we step OFF the God shaped throne in our own lives we become a solution to the anger that leads to evil. Therefore, if I allow God to manifest himself through me, I would have everything to gain (eternal perspective) and the anger, wickedness and evil are gone from my life. As we've mentioned in days past, if we let go of everything in our life and trust God we have nothing to fear as we know that "...in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Let go of your fear and anger today so that we never be the type of people who bring about evil and instead allow God to bring goodness through us.