Daily Devotional for August 24, 2021

Parents tearing masks off teachers.  Unruly passengers attacking flight attendants.  Extreme frustration over our military’s disastrous pull out of Afghanistan.  Proud Boys and antifa groups slugging it out in Portland.   Those vaccinated against COVID-19 are angry because the unvaccinated are filling up hospitals and cemeteries.  The unvaccinated are angry because they believe their rights are being threatened.  Farmers and ranchers in the west, are angry because they are running out of water.  Anger at Gov. Newsom has fostered a recall election in California.  Politicians continually pushing COVID-19 restrictions are caught violating the policies they put in place.  Road rage, rudeness, and intolerance are the standard of the day.

There are a lot of angry people out there for a lot of reasons.  Getting angry is easy but is it right?

Aristotle said, “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

My personal experience is venting my anger usually causes more harm than good. 

The great Christian theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr wrote one of the most influential prayers of modern society.  Alcoholics Anonymous actually uses an excerpt of his prayer in their meetings.  It is called the Serenity Prayer. 

Niebuhr wrote:  “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference, living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; taking this world as it is and not as I would have it, trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next.  Amen.”

We live in a fallen world filled with injustice, bigotry, and greed.  There are some things worth getting angry.  But, the vast majority of anger in our society, is needless, useless, and only causes suffering.  To give into this meaningless anger is not God’s will for your life.

The wisest person God every made said, “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.”  (Proverbs 14:29)

Be very careful about what pushes you to anger.  I suspect, if you are like me, most of it really isn’t that big a deal.

Prayer:   Dear Gracious Heavenly God, in this chaotic, confusing world, help me always see with clarity.  Lord, I don’t want to be part of the problem.  I want to be part of your solution.  Please give me peace and wisdom.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Choose serenity over anger.  Your life will be blessed.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins