Thursday, September 2, 2010

Patience--Breaking the Vicious Cycle

"Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back—in many ways it is a feast fit for a king."

"The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you..."

--Frederick Buechner

That's one of my favorite quotes about anger. Anger, whether it manifests itself as a hair-trigger temper, a smoldering moodiness, or an inner ability to hold a grudge, is an interesting sin...interesting in how otherwise godly men and women respond to it. We joke about it. We rationalize it. We blame genetics ("I inherited my daddy's temper, that's all"). We throw up our hands ("I don't mean to get angry...I just do"). We see it as a less-scandalous sin than many others. We even say things like, "Never pray for patience. If you do, God will send all kinds of tests into your life."

Yet patience is a fruit of the Spirit. If we're truly God's people, we should have control of our anger. So how can we do this? That's what we'll talk about this Sunday, as we continue our study of The Fruit of the Spirit.

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