Skip to main content

You giving anger fuel?

Marcus Aurelius was an emperor of Rome during the second century, but is noted for being one of the "last good ones" of that era. His main "call to fame" are his writings or "meditations" on dedicated service and uncompromising duty - being a great warrior and temperate leader himself. He was what has been coined a philosopher of stoicism - living with a strong commitment to self-restraint, the heartfelt respect of others, and a compelling duty to one's country. He was known as the ruler who lives a temperate life and was pretty much uncompromising in his principles. One of his statements pretty much sums up his philosophy of living: "How much more are the consequences of anger than the causes of it." His understanding of this truth may have made him one of the last "good emperors" of his time - because those who came after him actually didn't adhere to some of the valued principles he upheld. One of my favorite quotes from his writings is: "Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts."

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8 NLT)

I think Paul might have had this "habit" of thinking in mind when he penned these words under the direction of the Holy Spirit during his lifetime. Whatever we fix our thoughts upon will influence the very things we "do" with our bodies, "act out" toward others, and allow to be "done" to us in the course of our lifetime. I have a tendency to get "quiet" at times - almost like a turtle pulling into a shell - activity ceases on the outside, but on the inside I am fully focused on something. Others may see this as being "distant" or "moody", but in actuality I am deeply thinking upon something that is either niggling at me for a solution, or I just need time to ruminate on stuff so I get the right perspective on the subject at hand. Those who know me well actually give me the space to "get quiet" and "pull in" a little - because they know I need this time to form a plan for the next steps I am about to take.

What we think upon does indeed "color" our actions - our thoughts form a connection between the idea and the solution. The action directs us toward the solution - but it all begins with the thought. No wonder we find ourselves given to some pretty lame actions at times - it isn't that we didn't know what to do - we just didn't let that knowledge ruminate long enough to affect our actions! As Aurelius said, anger is easy - it is the consequences of anger that stick around for a long, long while! These consequences aren't all that easily "cleaned up", are they? Anger is one of those emotions in which we might "react" with either outburst or withdrawal, violence or malicious intent. Anger is also one of those emotions that has a way of "coloring" all the other emotions with at least a "hint" of the same hue!

Jesus didn't spend a lot of time dwelling upon things that angered him - he spent the main part of his life thinking upon what it is he loves in this world - US! Herein is probably one of the simplest truths we can take from Christ's example for us - when our thoughts are directed toward loving others, we find our actions "flow" in that same direction. It is easy to find fault and to dwell upon that fault we find - but it is much more profitable to both others and ourselves when we choose rather to dwell upon the things we can find of value in each other. We might just realize that choosing to dwell upon what is good in others helps us to draw together and have less distance build between each of us. Anger has no opportunity for flare up where there is no fuel to kindle it! Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean