For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.- James 3:16 NKJV
Many who claim to be CHRISTIANS, who claim to follow Jesus Christ are just earth-dwellers who have added God to their wardrobe of life. He is something they put on occasionally to fit in, to elevate themselves over others, to wield the Bible as a tool or a weapon, or to check a box and be good enough that God is lucky to have them on His team. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23) He’s talking about folk who are at church every Saturday\Sunday, who go on mission trips, who are telling others to hate TRUMP. And He says- I never knew you! You might know God, BUT- DOES HE KNOW YOU?
Leader, we live in an ANGRY world. Hate is the valid emotion of the day, but we pretend it is everybody else. Jesus Himself challenged this hypocrisy: “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? (Matthew 7:3) We live in a time where we condone our own hate and condemn everybody else’s hate. How many who profess to be Christians are at rallies against white privilege, against police officers in the BLM movement, against men in the women’s march and against the most pro-life, pro-Christian president we have had in a century- acting just like the world and HATING! What does God say about this? “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife. A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression. A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. (Proverbs; 19:11, 7:9, 30:33, 29:22, 15:18)
Conduit, Anger or wrath- is an intense emotional state. It involves a strong uncomfortable and hostile response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat. Outside of TRIGGERED, immediate responses to some provocation, most ANGER requires contemplation, consideration, stewing, and lamenting over and over. It is all about ME, and what I DESERVE and ‘who do they think they are’ or ‘they can’t treat me like that. It is part of the process of keeping a record of wrong, the process of constructing your POUND OF FLESH. Yet, when Jesus was treated with injustice He said, “Forgive them Father for they know NOT what they do”. (Luke 23:34) The most practical book in the Bible, the first book written in the NEW TESTAMENT, the only book penned by Jesus half- brother, the first leader of the Jerusalem church- James, states it this way: 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. (James 1:19-20) It is time to be like JESUS and stop being like the world! Forgive, and transform your thinking and your heart, DO NOT CONFORM TO THE WAYS OF THIS WORLD! (Romans 12:2) For if you are a follower of Jesus Christ you have the greatest privilege there is; YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN BY GOD, as unworthy as we are- so LET US honor our Savior, our LORD, our MASTER and BE LIKE JESUS! Quit the resistance, love on those who hate, and show the world WHOSE YOU ARE, by letting go of your STRIFE! For if you LIVE with STRIFE, then you accept all his family: EVERY EVIL WORK!