We have a neighbor who spits at us. (He’s a neighbor at our commercial property. We have lovely neighbors at home. Hi neighbors.) This man has many times hurled foul language at our crews while they loaded their vans. He’s threatened our workers, spit on them, and tried to incite them into fights. You’d think we’d done something horrendous to get this man so fired up.
We purchased a large mostly-vacant warehouse across the street, renovated the dilapidated building, and now have provided fourteen small businesses with an office location close to home. However, for several decades the building had sat dormant on this commercial street. Our neighbor had become accustomed to the sleepy, dead-end road where he works and lives. The new activity coming down “his” public street infuriates him.
My husband (God bless him) listened to the neighbor’s complaints, installed fencing, and lowered the angle of lights. He even hired a paving company to create a road on our property so that our vehicles no longer drive down the public street. However, the neighbor can’t be appeased. He still calls the town accusing us of things we haven’t done. The town sends over an official (at the cost of taxpayer dollars) who finds nothing wrong and leaves.
I have a hidden fiery side that erupts especially when its to protect my family and friends. When somebody spits at my husband and workers, I see red. I want to lash out, call the police on him, send him the bill for the changes he demanded. I want him to know he’s gone too far, and as the Hulk says, he’s not going to like me when I’m angry.
But I have no right.
Dead people cannot be angry, and that’s what God has asked us to do—to die daily.
But God, you saw what he did. You know what he’s done. It’s not right.
Jesus never said it was going to be easy. “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).” There’s more than one reason why we’re asked to take up our cross and to die daily to ourselves and our sin. It’s not just to show the grace and love of Jesus toward those who persecute us. It’s also to save our hearts.
When I allow anger to fester, it hardens into bitterness and hatred, forming a callous on my heart. It may at first apply to one situation or one individual but like a contaminate it spreads. I have to daily ask God to soften my heart—to help me see others through His eyes—as His beloved children. It’s become even harder as of late, where it seems as if the media is baiting people to become angry. It’s a battle to keep my heart soft and malleable for God, to love instead of hate, to pick up that heavy cross, and die once again.
…Because dead people don’t get angry.
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