God’s Grouch

by Andy Wood on March 20, 2013

in Conversations, Enlarging Your Capacity, Five LV Laws, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Freedom, Words

(A Conversation)

GrouchI don’t know.  I just don’t get it.

Get what?

Why I feel so… I don’t know… alone, I guess.

Alone?  You’re married.

Yeah, she’s stuck with me, I suppose.

You’re a leader in your church.

Well, even there I more on the outside looking in.  It’s like people see me coming and turn away.  One time I smelled my pits to see if I had B.O.

I think I can help you.

Oh yeah?

I think so.

So what?  There’s some big secret that everybody knows but me?

It’s no secret.

Well what is it?

You’re a grouch.

What? What do you mean by that?

I mean, you’re a grouch.  A grump-pot.  You always seem to have something to gripe about.

Like what?

Well, the last time we talked it was about all the changes in the church.

I’m OK with change!  But they’re just taking it way too fast.

You’re not OK with change.  And “too fast” as you call it is anything that happens before you’re in the ground.

Look, this church was built on the faithfulness and generosity and work and prayers of some good people who are now leaving it and I don’t think that’s right!

Fine.  That deserves to be a part of the conversation.  But there’s a way to have the conversation without it being a gripe session or the latest episode of Judge Judy.  But church is only the tip of the iceberg.

What do you mean?

I also hear a lot of griping about the world around you.

Well there are plenty of things to gripe about!  I mean, be concerned about.

Like the government and the economy?

You bet.

The breakdown of traditional marriage?

Now you’re talkin’.

The administration?

Don’t get me started on that.

The problem isn’t getting you started.  The problem is getting you stopped.

Look, these are serious issues.

Yes, they are.

And I’m tired of so-called Christians just sitting around and doing nothing about it.

I understand.

And I’m tired of the liberal media and Hollywood trying to destroy this great country.

I get it.  Though I’m sure they’d argue with you about destroying the country. Sounds like you’re pretty angry.

I am angry!  And the Bible says there are some things you’re supposed to be angry about!

Like sin and evil?

Dang straight!

And going against God’s word?

Amen!

And politics?

Well… maybe not so much that.

And change?

I told you I don’t mind change!

As long as you have some say in it.

Right.

As long as people don’t shove it down your throat.

Exactly. And that’s what’s happening everywhere I turn.

And you’re angry about it.

I’m righteously indignant!

OK, let’s allow for the possibility that you are.  That this isn’t some self-motivated anger.

I don’t think it is!

OK.  What are you doing about it?

About what?

About your anger.

I’m being angry, of course.  That’s what the Bible says.  “Be angry and do not sin.”

But what are you doing about it?

I’m talking about it to anyone who will listen.

Anything else?

Not much else I can do.

There’s plenty you can do.  And that’s the point.  Anger is a God-given emotion for the purpose of stimulating you to take action to correct an injustice or right a wrong.

Well there are sure plenty of wrongs that need to be righted!

Yep.  And that’s where conservatives lean.  Righting the wrongs.  But there are plenty of injustices that need to be corrected, too.  And that’s where liberals lean.  Correcting injustice.

But should you put up with what’s wrong in order to correct injustice?

No.  But you shouldn’t allow injustice to right wrongs either. And either way, the solution is action, not just griping about it.  Anyway, you only quoted half that verse.

What verse?

The one about being angry and not sinning.

Refresh my memory.  What’s the other half say?

It says, “Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.”

Which means what?

It means when you find yourself righteously angry, you take action on it before sundown, then you let it go.

You can’t just let this go!

Of course you can… if you’ve done something about it.  You do your work – try to exercise your influence – while it’s day.  Then you lay it down.  You put it in God’s hands and enjoy the joy of the Lord and your faith, hope, and love.

(Silence… probably a good thing.)

‘Cause you know what happens when you let the sun go down on your wrath?

You become a grouch?

You get bitter.  Even righteous anger can lead to bitterness.* And God never intended you to carry bitterness for any reason.

(Thinking…) So you’re saying I’m bitter?

I can’t make that call.  That’s between you and God.

Okay.

But you are a grouch.

Stop it!

You stop it!  There isn’t a problem in the church or the world that was ever solved by people griping about it.  So let God fill your heart up with love, joy and peace, and go do something.

OK, you’ve given me plenty to think about and pray about.  But what are you doing about the things that make you angry?

I’m taking God’s grouches to lunch.

(Laughing for the first time…) Hey, can we do this again next week?

Sure.  But you’re buying.

So what are you preaching on Sunday?

Sermon on the Mount.  This week’s on loving your enemies.  You?

Nehemiah.  “The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength.”

Can’t wait to hear the podcast.

Podcast?  What’s a podcast?

(Sigh…) You’re impossible.  Check please!

 

*Thanks to Pastor David Wilson for this great insight.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Martha Orlando March 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Brilliant dialogue!!! Really made me think about the things which make me gripe and what I should be doing instead.
Blessings, Andy!
Martha Orlando´s last blog post ..It Says It All, Doesn’t It?

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