Skip to main content

Excising that Cancer

Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life. (James 1:19)

Have you heard that little saying, "Move or be moved"? There are times when I have moved, sometimes in just the nick of time, avoiding some disaster of some kind. There have been more than a few times I wish I had moved faster, or in a different direction in order to avoid whatever was coming my way. Some of the times I didn't move, or didn't move fast enough, were really times when I wanted to be in control and was just plain stubborn. Have you ever been anchored in place by your anger? It appears anger can be a very effective anchor for many of us - something we can sink our teeth into and really hold onto for a long, long time. Way beyond the request from God for us to move on, we have held onto that thing we should have let go of long ago. However do we let go of what seems to anchor us so firmly into this place of anger, bitterness, resentment, and the desire for retribution? Maybe we need to listen a little closer, talk a little less, and not give that anger such an important place in our lives, but how on earth do we get to that point when we have been wronged by another? I will not paint a pretty picture here - it takes us throwing away that cancerous evil to actually be free of it - even when we think it still has some 'purpose', we have to let it go!

Why does God focus on the ears first and mouth second? I believe we listen to a lot of voices, with our own 'internal' voice being the loudest when we are holding onto a grudge. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that rehearsing the wrongdoing is a 'right' we have and we do it over and over again until the actions of another become ingrained in our thought pathways. The brain is a very powerful thing - whatever we think upon the most often will actually stimulate various 'hormonal pathways' that we will frequent because we have become accustomed to the release of those hormones. When we attempt to deviate from the path created by our constant 'self-talk' about the infraction, we find it is hard to not have that same 'hormonal response' we have been accustomed to experiencing. Go to the fridge night after night to get the sweet thing hidden away there and you will form a 'hormonal response' that locks you into craving more of the sweet thing. Hearing what we are telling ourselves may be hard, but when we realize we have been telling ourselves the hateful story of another's wrong against us over and over again, we might just begin to realize how much control we have given another through those 'self-repeated' words of anger and regret. 

To break the hormonal pathway created by all that negative self-talk we have to be willing to take a new path. I know this is easier said than done - those hormonal responses are pretty doggone ingrained by now. It may not seem like it, but the more we take a different pathway, the more the hormonal release will change - we will form a new pathway with even more satisfying release! What can we do to replace those self-repeated words of anger and resentment? We can begin to repeat the Word of God instead. If we will just get into the Word and allow it to really get into us, we will begin to see those new pathways formed. Why do you think I listen to great Christian artists on the radio? Those words begin to reinforce the pathway his Word has begun to carve out in place of those other pathways of resentment and anger. Why do you think I pen our my study of the Word? The repetition of seeing his Word, writing out my thoughts about what he says, and then rereading it reinforces the pathway. Honestly, the 're-telling' of the story isn't easy, but when we allow God to tell us the story he wants for us to hear, repeat, and anchor our souls in, the more those 'positive hormonal responses' will occur. The new pathway will be formed - ingrained in place of the one that was eating away at us like a cancerous growth. Just sayin!

Comments

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

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

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