by Rafael E. Lara, Worship Ministries Coordinator
“Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they make offerings, but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble.” – Jeremiah 11:12
“Show me where you spend your money, and I’ll show you what you value.”
It’s easy for us to take a week of our lives and map out everywhere we spend money in order to determine what priorities we have in our lives. Whether it’s the daily coffee, the realistic bills, or the mundane shopping we do, there is usually something we give our finances to.
We can probably similarly look at our lives and apply the same method to determine what, in a broader sense, we give ourselves to on a daily basis. For the sake of doing away with the cliches, let’s not throw in the “Well, I’m always thinking about God in all I do” or the “everything I do is for Him anyways.” I’m talking about the heart stuff… you know, the stuff that no one else hears or sees. THAT is the currency I’m speaking about.
I used to be a much angrier person than I am now. I would live life very bitter. I won’t stand here and claim never to get angry. That would be a lie. But in those moments when I would get angry, what I was saying (me, not every case, necessarily) is that my anger and self-righteousness was more important than anything else. I had every right to be angry and bitter and I did not care who I harmed in the process.
The issue is that choosing anger and bitterness rarely (perhaps never) gives us any redemptive opportunities. Anger and bitterness drive us deeper into despair; wallowing in our own inabilities to fix things.
These emotions are natural… I know… I get it. It’s normal for you to feel hurt. Things happen to us that scar us. But we need to be careful to not stay in that emotion. Why? Because we run the risk of receiving what Judah received. Our emotions are our currency, and we have been paying dividends into bitterness and anger for far too long, only to find out at the end that they have not helped us in one bit to get out of the trouble we are in.
Sure, we might get a quick-fix and get a high when we yell out at a driver on the parkway, but where does that leave us? It didn’t wipe away the fact that driver cut you off. It still happened. More so, you might be angry for the rest of the day and forget why you got angry in the first place.
Let’s try something today. When something happens that would normally make you angry and sew seeds of bitterness in you, let’s choose to bless instead of curse. Let’s not make our self-righteousness our idols. Let’s turn to God. Let’s relinquish the debts we hold over people that they will never be able to pay, and allow God to take care of our troubled hearts.