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Unwell Wishing

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Click here to read Psalm 108-109 on BibleGateway.com

“Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy…may a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.” –  Psalm 109: 6,11

Thanks to invulnerable yet unpredictable green men, anger has taken on a more positive spin in recent years. It used to be that anger was seen as a negative – only the weak lost their cool and became angry. But now, what with all the good the Jolly Green Giant has done, not to mention the comedic gold of anger management classes and enraged fowl, anger has taken on almost positive tones these days.

Christians, for the most part, still have a lingering distrust of anger. After all, if we are truly close to God, doesn’t that mean that we should be happy and well-wishy all the time? Hard to reconcile that with the desire to take batting practice to the car that keeps parking in your spot, or that quick desire to “accidentally” spill hot coffee on that one co-worker. We know that we should be kind, yet we have this frequent tendency for the most unkind actions.


The thing is – God understands.  He even put it in his best seller, just for us to see.  God is not surprised by our frustrations, nor is he surprised that maybe we have less than honorable wishes for those that hurt us.  Want that ex-spouse to lose their house? God understands.  Want that embezzling boss to get caught so you can have his job? God understands.  Mystified why that girl keeps getting all the guys even though everybody knows what a backstabber she is?  God understands.

The Old Testament is full of examples of people being angry with other people – sometimes even God’s people.  The Psalms in particular have some pretty detailed descriptions of exactly what the author wants done to his enemies, and we’re not talking wedgies here. Various psalms ask God to visit violence, infertility, treachery, and of course death to their enemies.  Hardly the stuff you’d think you’d find in God’s songbook.

God understands – but He doesn’t accept it.


God knows that you want that business competitor to fail, yet He asks you to do what you can to help them succeed.  He knows you want to merge that reckless driver right off the bridge, yet He asks us to yield to them instead. He knows you hope that guy at the meeting who got the last custard-filled pastry chokes on a doughnut bone, but He asks you to offer him the fresh coffee as well.

God understands who we are, and knows our desires, probably better than we do. Yet, we are called to live beyond those desires. We are sinful and broken creatures, after all, and so we wil have struggles in this life; yet through God’s Spirit, we can be more than who our desires say we are. That anger and frustration is part of what we deal with, but they are not who we are.

It’s ok to acknowledge them, even in song apparently.  But it’s not ok to act on them, or even to dwell constantly on those thoughts.  We are to take those things to Jesus, and release them.  We don’t plan our revenge, we trust God to bring justice; and if He doesn’t, if that person just keeps on succeeding despite their cotton-headed-ninny-mugginess, we are to celebrate with them.

God understands that we desire the worst for them – but He requires that we love them anyway.

Because while you were the worst you could be, that’s what He did for you.


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