CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

March 26, 2011

Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Anger #3: I Would Never Get That Angry, Would I?


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

LENTEN STUDY: 7 DEADLY SINS

ANGER #3: I WOULD NEVER GET THAT ANGRY, WOULD I?

MONTE W. HOLLAND

 INTRODUCTION

     The following study is a journey through Lent, the forty-day pre-Easter season (which excludes Sundays).  Easter’s date, determined by the time of the first full moon after the Spring equinox, is very late this year.

     Traditionally, many Christians use Lent for self-examination and a renewal of their commitment to their faith.

     This year I  chose to do a devotional study on aspects of the Seven Deadly Sins, sins identified by very early Christians as key behaviors separating man from God and God’s will. The seven sins are not listed together in the Bible—each is, however, spoken about in various Scripture sites.

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THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS:

GREED, ENVY, ANGER, LUST, GLUTTONY, SLOTH and PRIDE.

THE ASPECTS OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS ARE:

#1 Breaking the Mosaic Law

#2 Defying God or rebelling against God

#3 Acts of violence to others

#4 Failing to make proper sacrifices or worship

#5 Not living up to or reflecting God’s glory (not living as one created in God’s image)

ANGER #3

I WOULD NEVER GET THAT ANGRY, WOULD I?

 

SCRIPTURE: The Wise Men 1 When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and said, “Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. 4 Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, “Where will the Messiah be born?” 5 They told him, “He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote, 6 ‘Bethlehem in the land of Judea, you are very important among the towns of Judea. From your town will come a leader, who will be like a shepherd for my people Israel.’ ” 7 Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. 8 He told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I also want to go and worship him.” 9 The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 They were thrilled and excited to see the star. 11 When the men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and gave them to him. 12 Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road. (Matthew 2:1-12)

The Plot To Kill Jesus ( Mark 14.1, 2; Luke 22.1, 2; John 11.45-53) 1 When Jesus had finished teaching, he told his disciples, 2 “You know two days from now will be Passover. This is when the Son of Man will be handed over to his enemies and nailed to a cross.” 3 At that time the chief priests and the nation’s leaders were meeting at the home of Caiaphas the high priest. 4 They planned how they could sneak around and have Jesus arrested and put to death. 5 But they said, “We must not do it during Passover, because the people will riot.”  

Judas and the Chief Priests ( Mark 14.10, 11; Luke 22.3-6) 14 Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples. He went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “How much will you give me if I help you arrest Jesus?” They paid Judas 30 silver coins, 16 and from then on he started looking for a good chance to betray Jesus. (Matthew 26:1-5, 14-16)

DEVOTION:  The Scriptural words vary from translation to translation: worried, very worried, upset, disturbed, troubled. Herod was angry that someone might come on the scene that would remove him from power, erode his control over the people. Anger leads to calculation, to back room plots, to intrigue—all with a capital objective: violence and death to another human.

     Anger and sneakiness often get tangled together. We get angry and want to respond in this anger, but we don’t want to be found out. Often we are willing to choose the road to death for others. For example, we get angry with persons (or groups of persons) that we think are lazy and conniving. Often we lump all poor people into this category and then we deny them the basics.

     As harmless as denying help to those who are poor may seem, the result may be illness and death for some. A diabetic’s life can end without proper nutrients. Improper diet can lead to poorer performance on the job, in school and at home. Persons who are hungry and poor are more likely to end up in jail.

     Herod and the chief priests were very intentional in trying to end the life of Jesus. None of us would ever do that. However, when we get angry with others, be they followers of Jesus or not, we risk unintentional injury or death to persons who are fully as loved and fully as valued by Jesus as we are.

     Every time we sing Jesus Loves Me let us be reminded that Jesus loves others also and that our anger may stand in the way of another person coming to know and experience that love that Jesus has for them.

PRAYER: Loving God, we like to be angry with groups of people that we find unacceptable in some way. Touch our hearts that we may love like you do, and that we move away from anger to kindness toward those we are ready to disagree with and be disagreeable with. Amen.

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To read the previous devotion, click on:  Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins: Envy #3: When War is the Answer

To read the following devotion, click on: Lenten Study: Seven Deadly Sins—Lust #3: A Tragic Cover-up Plot

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ADDITIONAL READING:

ARE YOU PUNISHING OR DISCIPLINING YOUR CHILD?

 Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: A Devotion

 Hope for Victims of Domestic Violence

 How to plan to escape from a domestic violence situation

 Why women stay in abusive relationships: Is this the right question?

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