Posts tagged ‘anger’

March 27, 2012

Justice or Self-Righteous?

by pastortimfowler

gun

Why is there not an uproar about the New Black Panthers putting a bounty out for the guy in Florida who shot the teen? I know that this is a horrible incident and that many were hurt by it, but what gives these people the right to put a bounty on the head of someone who has not even been charged with breaking a law? In America, we are innocent until proven guilty and in this case the man has not even been accused by law enforcement of breaking a law.
I am not a lawyer and I am not an expert on the particular law that this man is not accused of breaking. I am a legal concealed weapons carrier and in my state there is a similar law on the books that says we can stand our ground and defend ourselves if we feel threatened. It does seem to be a bit strange that we can shoot another person because of a feeling, but that is how the law is written. But by taking the course and legally obtaining and carrying a weapon, I do not automatically support and agree with the law. However, I am covered under that law, regardless of how I feel or others feel. This is not my fault nor is it the fault of the shooter in Florida. So why is he the target of such hatred? Where is the outrage not over those who publicly threaten an innocent man with harm, just because they disagree with a law?
It would be nice if there was not a race issue to be talked about, but only the discussion of whether or not the law was broken and if there is a disagreement with the law, then taking the proper steps to have the law changed. That is how a civil society should operate. But when we have groups making threats of taking the law into their own hands, we bring hatred into the picture and civility is left by the wayside. Sadly the race issue threatens to blow things into an all out race war. This bothers me.
Every elected official should be stepping into the public’s eye to stress the legal and civil ways to handle such issues. They should condemn any group who threaten to step outside the boundaries of the law and not back down until the public outcry is for true justice, not vigilante efforts to under mind the law. The media should condemn and expose anyone who tries to subvert the legal system. Clergy should take to the pulpits to remind the church of its obligation to follow the laws of the land and it appointed officials. Every law-abiding citizen should be on guard against groups who put themselves above the law and we should not stand for any of those who are supposed to speak out for the laws of the land if they neglect to do so.
My heart breaks for this young man who was killed. There is never a good way to lose a loved one. But I also feel bad for the man who shot him. Not because I agree with what he did. I was not there and I only have the reports from the media to form my opinions. But his life is ruined without the help of a group like the New Black Panthers getting involved. And I also believe that if this man acted wrongly, he will be exposed for it. There is a process for such things to work themselves out and I believe that for the most part it is a good and just system.
It is easy to understand the anger that can be stirred when an event like this takes place. But anger is not a means to destroy, but a means to make things right. God’s design for anger is to fix the injustice and restore things to it proper bearings. Human anger is often distorted and dangerous, but that is why we have laws and a system of justice. Ultimately I believe that no matter the fault of this situation, God will keep track and make it right. He is the Righteous Judge and no sin will go unpunished. But in some cases, only God knows the true injustice and in that case we must trust Him to make things right.
I pray for the families involved. I pray for peace and I pray for the truth to come out. But I also pray that those who try to take the law into their own hands would be exposed for the menace to society that they are. They are not seeking justice. They are claiming to be self-righteous and only God can do that.

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October 18, 2011

How To Forgive

by pastortimfowler

Forgiving is not easy. It is something that God requires Christians to do, but few Christians seem to be able to do it. Even when we say we are forgiving someone, those old feelings of anger and resentment have a way of coming back. This past Sunday I preached about how we love the fact that God forgives us when we ask, but we tend to make people wait on the forgiveness that we should give. But, for many, we want to and try to forgive but get stuck with the residue of hurt and bitterness. Here are a few things that you can do if and when you struggle with forgiving someone.
First, and this is important, we are not God and cannot forget the past. We are told that God never brings up our sins again after they are forgiven, and we hear people say stuff like, forgive and forget. But we can’t forget. What we must do is daily and if necessary hourly, every minute, or every second, remind ourselves that we chose to forgive. The Apostle Paul said that he died daily to sin. In other words, he reminded himself everyday that the old man was gone and now he was a new creature in Christ. Just like every other sin we struggle with, forgiveness is a sin that has to be dealt with daily. God is perfect and His forgiveness is perfect, ours is not.
Second, we need to do everything possible to grow in our Christian lives. There are a few wonderful verses Peter’s 2nd letter that can help. 2 Peter 1:5-8 says to add to our faith, purity, to purity, knowledge, to knowledge, self-control and so on. If we ever think that we are as good as we get in our Christian lives, we are going to stumble. Forgiveness takes maturity and to mature as a Christian, you need, Bible, prayer, church, and practice, and of course, God.
Third, sometimes we feel like that person is not getting what they deserve. This is common, but we must remember that God is the one who will judge the unrighteous, and Psalms 7:11 says, God is a fair judge, a God who is angered by injustice every day. We must trust that if there is an injustice, God will deal with it, we don’t have to. But if God has forgiven that person, and we don’t know if they have asked or not, but if so, then it is forgiven and we need to let it go.
Forth, if possible, tell the person that you forgive them. Be prepared for them to say that they did nothing to need forgiving, but if there has been a real wrong committed, let them know you forgive them. If this is not possible, write out what they did on paper. Write down how you feel and your desire to forgive. Daily, or as often as needed, pray over it and ask God to take away all bitterness and resentment and that your desire is to forgive completely. Let God know that you are weak and that you need His strength to release it. Once you have been freed from this, burn the paper and thank God for the release. Thank Him for forgiving you and forgiving the person you just forgave or if you think that person is not a Christian, pray for their salvation.
Forgiveness is hard, but it is beautiful when it comes in fullness. You can forgive because, Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.