I made the mistake of turning on the news last night. I was curious about the weather and the upcoming forecast. That was my first mistake. The local news was filled with one bad thing after another, a liberal state at work, and the promise of temperatures in the 90s for next week, with no sign of rain. The national news talked about the fires in Canada and California – the inevitable increase in goods and grocery prices, which I’ve already see – the violence and unrest in Cuba – the delta variant is now the dominant strain in the US. What ever happened to, “There’s good news tonight,” or “And that’s the end of the story?”
Earlier in the day I couldn’t help but get my dander up when hearing about someone feeling picked on and abused for their beliefs. Another situation arose when I was met with an opposing opinion. I felt hurt as well as angry. As I approached my weekly grocery shopping, I felt anger all around me. People in a hurry, not caring if they pushed you out of the way or cared less that you were a human being. Angry words were spewed over cell phones, at cashiers, at food stockers and anyone that stood in that person or person’s path.
People seem generally crabby lately. I’m not sure exactly what has caused this change and disregard for kindness. I mean it used to be an act of kindness to help an old lady across the street, but now the old lady might just whack you with her cane. We could blame it on the year and a half of isolation caused by the COVID19 virus. We could do that, but I don’t think that’s the only thing which has led to this constant rise in emotional behavior. We could blame it on the state of the world, but we really don’t know what to believe anymore when it comes to the news or media. We could blame homelessness, unemployment, lost of stability, psychological problems and on and on and on. The truth is, the blame lies within each one of us.
We all get angry. Sometimes it’s a release for us, but it also results in a dumping of our anger on another person. Sometimes we think of anger as frustration on steroids. Anger causes all kinds of problems and none of them are pretty. When we focus only on our needs and discard the needs of others, we’re leaving ourselves wide open to anger. We will become selfish, mean, hateful and uncaring. Jesus encouraged His followers to control their anger and not retaliate, but He also told them to love one another, and that includes our enemies as well.
Matthew 5:43-45 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. “
Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Maybe we’re spending too much time looking for a much more complex answer instead of seeing what’s right before our eyes.