Anger, Empathy and Love

by Rev Lai Kai Ming

Readings: 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13; Psalm 77

READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
1 Corinthians 13:5
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

REFLECT
While I don’t usually subscribe to the NIV, its translation of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is the most helpful for me. Most challenging to me is the part on not being easily angered and not keeping record of wrongs. How difficult that is! I often ask myself, what makes a person lose their temper so quickly? Genetics? Physical and emotional tiredness? Perhaps. But I suspect the culprit is often the inability to empathize. We get angry with someone because we cannot understand why they behave so differently from what we expect. Be it with an inconsiderate driver, incompetent colleague, imperfect spouse, or uncooperative child – our quickness to anger reflects our own inability to love.

RELATE
How easy it is to point the finger. When I lack love, I quickly put the blame on the other. It’s her fault. He made me so angry. Yet an honest look into my heart would reveal the root of the problem – my own pride, and my inability to embrace the weak and imperfect. No one can make me angry. I need to be reminded that anger need not be my only response to another person’s actions. Try mercy. Try sorrow. Try love.

REST
Lord, the next time I am tempted to react angrily – show me a better way to live.

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Day 363

by Rev Joel Yong

Revelation of John 7:1-4
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

In the last days, God will mark those who belong to Him.

He mentions this in Ezekiel – and again here.

Ezekiel 9:4
And the Lord said to him, Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.

The purpose is to set apart the people of God who hate sin, from those who indulge in sin before judgment comes upon the land.

It’s not new. The same was done during the Passover when God passed through Egypt.

Satan is a copycat and he attempts to copy this when the Antichrist seeks to mark those who belong to him, as a sign of allegiance.

Revelation of John 13:16-18
Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

God will mark us.
The Antichrist will ask us to take his mark too.

I choose God.
It will mean persecution and tribulation in the end times. But I fear not the one who can destroy the body but not the soul.

What about you?