Holy temper tantrums, Batman! – Lent day 31

Back before Jesus destroyed me and put back the pieces, I had a pretty bad temper.  Just ask my younger sister, who unfortunately found herself at the receiving end of my temper from time to time all the time.  My reserve stock of patience was pretty slim.

Then God transformed me.  I remember my sister asking me, “Why don’t you ever try to fight with me anymore?”  Pretty funny, huh?  But it’s not like my temper disappeared.  I’m not the Dalai Lama.

I think God has a temper.  If we are made in the image of God, we resemble God’s personality.  We receive our ability to love, hate, enjoy, etc. from God.  If that’s true, then temperment is something that we mirror after God, too.

And nothing gets God hot under the collar than how we treat other images of God.

Check out Amos chapter 2 for a picture of God’s temper:

“This is what the Lord says: ‘For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not relent.  They sell the innocent for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals.  They trample on the heads of the poor as on the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed.  Father and son use the same girl and so profane my holy name.'”

God gets ticked when injustice remains unchecked.  Can we blame God for that?

temper - day 31 - 1

All of our temper tantrums we end up throwing pale in comparison to God’s.  We have little kid kinds of tantrums about small stuff when we look at what gets the LORD mad.  When was the last time you threw an absolute fit about the raunchy poverty around the globe?  How often do you let a holy anger stir you to work for change, on behalf of the oppressed?  Instead, we lose our temper when our internet doesn’t work fast enough or our phone freezes up.  God forbid we have to wait in line or experience bad traffic (the horror!!!).

Maybe God loses His temper with us so that we open up our eyes to what’s truly important in the world.  It’s time for us to start flipping our lid for things that matter.

Let’s lose our temper together!

May you see unholy things that cause you to lose your holy temper.

——————

Isaiah 58

“Shout it aloud, do not hold back.  Raise your voice like a trumpet.  Declare to my people their rebellion and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.  For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God.  They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.  ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it?  Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’  “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.  Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists.  You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.

Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves?  Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?  Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?  Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?  Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness[a] will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.  11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.  12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

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About Brian Swanson

Christ follower. Screw up. Stained with grace. Ruined by Jesus.
This entry was posted in discipleship, justice, Lent and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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