Friday, March 8, 2013

Wine and Whining

Hey. It's been a couple minutes. But it's good to see you.

God has been "owning me" (quote from my friend miss Van Allen) for the past few weeks, and I thought it would be a good time to start writing again. So here we go...

A good friend and I have started an accountability group together: Sunday nights, a sweet lounge downtown, and a glass of wine. I've never liked wine, but somehow over the last few months I've developed a palette for it. I'm starting to understand the essence of a good glass of wine.

My dad used to ask me when I was little, sarcastically of course, if I wanted cheese with my whine. I hated that saying. I still do.
 -- I was trying to slyly entertain both whine and wine together in a witty play on words to drive a cool point to this blog post, but I've been away too long and I'm rusty, so I got nothin. 
To get to my point anyways, through these last few weeks of accountability, God has shown in me how incredibly angry I am, and how my anger is like incessant whining.

You see, anger comes from a sense of being wronged in some sort of way. "He did this to me," "she said this," "I got stiffed at work on tips," I'm sure you can fill in some as well. For me, I have felt let down in a handful of cases lately. What I want I don't get, so I get angry at the person for not adhering to my desires. There is a righteous anger, one demonstrated by Jesus as he stood on a table and whipped at people for using the church as a market place, but I'm on the other type of anger. The unrighteous anger.

Why is this anger unrighteous? Because it is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21). Anger does not come from a faith in God. Anger says I know what I need, and if I don't get it I'm going to have a fit of rage (like it will help the situation...silly me). So I whine to God and say, "well he doesn't want to do this, and I need this so that I can move forward, and he won't do it!" Then I thrash wildly on the ground, kicking and screaming trying to get my way. Or, in reality, I close up and become bitter and treat the other person so coldly that I can almost see my breath.

But God, so patient and kind and loving, looks down on me and says "son, why are you treating Me like this?"

I want to stop here, because I want you to see something important. When God showed me this, It brought me straight down to my knees.

I close up and become bitter and treat the other person so coldly I can see my breath, but God looks at me and asks why I'm treating Him (God) the way I am. Who are we really aiming at when we get angry? Who really receives the blows from our inner rants? Who are we really blaming when things don't go our way?

"You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether" Psalm 139:3-4. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" Romans 8:28. God knows exactly when and how something is going to happen in our life, before it happens, because He has planned it from the beginning. "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done." He has His will for us, so when I am angry with someone for not doing what I want them to do and I lash out in bitterness or some other form of resentment, it isn't that person I am angry at...

I'm angry at God.

Do you see how that works? In God's sovereignty he has declared a will for me, and in some cases my desires and His will don't match, and when that happens I treat whatever or whoever the situation involves with a negative demeaning attitude. I'm essentially telling God that I know better than He does, and more than that, I'm blaming God for what doesn't go my way by acting foolishly. If God plans and works together EVERYTHING (all things) for His purposes, can anybody else be responsible for what happens, besides God? The answer is a resounding NO!

If there is anger in your life, like there is mine, step back from yourself for a few minutes and reflect on the situation a little bit. Whatever is making you angry is happening for a reason, it isn't just a cosmic chance. God is producing something in you through that situation, "...we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" Romans 5:3-4.

As I've been meditating on this truth about my anger, I have noticed less anxiousness and bitterness. I understand that I can't worry about how something today is going to effect tomorrow, because I don't have tomorrow. I only have today. "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" Matthew 6:24. I also know that no matter the circumstance, God knows how it will play out. All I'm required to do is trust and have faith in His working. If I'm doing that, then there is no need to get angry because I know He is working it together for my good and His will, and in that I'm satisfied in Him which is where we should be as Christians.

So, you can pray for me by praying against my anger. Ask God to forgive me when I do get angry, and for me to understand He is in control 100%. Until next time.

•     •     •

I feel like I need to address me drinking for the sake of it being a stumbling block. I'm of legal age to drink, and I'm not being a drunkard or getting drunk (Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:19-20, among other verses). Drinking is not a sin. It becomes a sin when we abuse it, just like all good things (Ecclesiastes 9:7, 10:19). If you have any questions about this let me know and I'd be happy to talk through it with you. I am not giving the impression that drinking to get drunk and partying is OK! Just thought I'd clarify.

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