The Issue of Mad
Mad: it seems to be a constant state for many. I speak not about the mental illness part of the definition but rather the enraged, irritated, angry part. Look around, and you will see somebody mad about something. It may be traffic, a life issue like finances, medical problems, or political issues. Honestly, this list could cover many pages. The point is that sending someone to this place takes minimal these days.
Quite often, we see many people caught up in a cause or some “trending” issue. Many times they get mad and do not even know why. For example, I recently saw an interview with a young man at a rally to protest something. When asked why he was so angry, he replied, “Because everyone else here is.” Such living is unproductive, but it is also very unhealthy. It clouds judgment and reactions.
During my years as a deputy sheriff, I saw “mad” direct many regrettable choices. Likewise, as a Pastor in counseling sessions, I have seen “mad” direct many hurtful, destructive, and unfortunate words that could not be recovered or changed. We must understand that such does not represent Christ.
In this passage, we see Paul speaking of his life before Jesus and how he pursued believers and followers of Christ. Paul tells of the mean-spirited nature of his pursuit and the pushing, the nudging, the pressing one to the point of becoming angry, mad, or upset. The enemy loves seeing us upset. He enjoyed robbing us of our joy. It can show in our words or actions. However, we must never forget who we represent and the image in which God created us.
Is there righteous anger? Sure, there is; Jesus gave us an example of this when thieves and crooks overtook the temple. But, on the other hand, there is flesh anger, the kind that begins to overtake the heart, and it blinds judgment and rational thoughts. In other words, it takes over and disrupts everything in our life.
We will always have differences with others, be they friends, foes, or family; such is life, and such is flesh revealed. This reaction, though, is not the same as being mad all the time for no actual reason. We see this in modern politics. The blinding hatred between the parties does not allow for civility, which hurts those they are supposed to represent. To be mad at an action or decision because we disagree is a normal human reaction. However, to allow that same anger to consume our lives, steal our joy, and kill our witness, such can only come from the enemy.
Jesus says in John 10:10 that He came to “give life and it more abundantly.” So take time out today to see if you are living in His gift, or are you too mad to be able to receive it and enjoy the blessing it can be.
Indeed something to think about!
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