ABC Extra – Keeping Your Cool

August 8, 2011 at 5:15 am Leave a comment


When it counts, I am cool, calm, and collected.  When my mother-in-law passed away earlier this year, I did my best to make sure everything was covered for my family.  When a dear woman wept in my office as she recounted the grievous way she had been sinned against, I offered the most sober solace I could muster.

When it counts, I am cool, calm, and collected.  But then I lose my car keys…and my demure demeanor crumbles.  “Where could I have put those stupid things?” I grumble as I stomp around the house, making sure everyone within a fifty-foot radius of me knows exactly how incredulous I am.  “This is ridiculous!  I set something down for one second and it up and disappears.”  Melody, of course, tries to provide some perspective for my not so precarious plight.  “It’s no big deal, honey,” she says.  “They have to be around here somewhere!”  But I am inconsolable.  “No!” I retort.  “I’m already running late to this appointment.  This just makes things worse!”

In our text from this past weekend, Solomon writes, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11).  “Having good sense means having a long fuse,” Solomon says.  Apparently, then, minor annoyances can cause me to check my good sense at the door.  I can get far too frustrated far too fast.  I not only react, I overreact.  But it ought not be this way.

In the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the word for the phrase “slow to anger” is macrothymeo.  This is a compound word made up of macro, meaning “big,” or “long,” and thymeo, meaning “an outburst of passion or wrath.”  I remember thymeo’s meaning by thinking of a thermometer.  Like a thermometer, our anger can get hot and boil and bubble over.  To be macrothymeo, then, means to take a long time to get hot under the collar.  It means, to borrow a phrase from bestselling author Richard Carlson, to “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

But all too often, I do sweat the small stuff.  And my guess is, you do too.  In fact, maybe it’s not so much the small stuff that you sweat, but the big stuff.  Maybe someone has cheated you out of what is rightly yours.  Maybe someone has hurt you in a profound way.  Maybe someone has sinned against you and the damage feels irreparable.  It’s at times like these when we can be tempted to let anxiety and anger take over.  And such anxiety and anger seems justified enough.  After all, anger at sin seems not only acceptable, but called for!  But Solomon says that a wise man “overlooks an offense.”

How could Solomon say such a thing?  Is he encouraging us to just let sin slide?  No.  But he is encouraging us to let God take care of sin for us.  The apostle Paul explains it like this to a group of pagans in Athens: “In the past God overlooked ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed” (Acts 17:30-31).  Even as God overlooks the ignorance of unbelief out of His grace, we are called to overlook the offenses of others against us by God’s grace.  Now this does not mean that God will not judge the world for its sin.  He will.  But judgment will be carried out not by you, but by “the man He has appointed.”  And that man is Jesus.

Finally, God “overlooks ignorance” not because he does not care about sin, but because He is giving those who are ignorant of Him time to repent and trust in Him.  As the apostle Peter says, “Our Lord’s patience means salvation” (2 Peter 3:15).  This is why our God does not immediately judge sin and sinners, including you and me.  This is why our God is “a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15).  Like our God, may we too be slow to anger.

Want to learn more? Go to
www.ConcordiaLutheranChurch.com
and check out audio and video from Pastor Josh’s
message!

Advertisements

Entry filed under: ABC Extra. Tags: , , , , .

Genesis 6:1-4 and Christian Marriage God and the Debt Crisis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Follow Zach

Enter your email address to subscribe to Pastor Zach's blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,886 other followers

Questions?

Email Icon Have a theological question? Email Zach at zachm@concordia-satx.com and he will post answers to common questions on his blog.

Calendar

August 2011
M T W T F S S
« Jul   Sep »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

%d bloggers like this: