"Trayvon Martin"...mention that name and you unleash a flood of emotion and turmoil. This young man was tragically shot to death at age 17 and his death has raised a firestorm of controversy. Was it self-defense? Was it racially motivated? Should his killer have been arrested immediately? Will there be justice? These are all questions that we have no answers for – sorry! What we do want to discuss though, is the emotion, reaction and desire by some for vengeance. Is vengeance ever appropriate for us to take? What if justice is NOT served? Does vengeance give closure? What does it really mean to leave things like this in God’s hands? Are the Old and New Testament different on this? Stay with us as we look into this important question.
We all have at one time or another wanted revenge – the act of not only getting back at someone or something, but being sure that they were delivered that little extra dose of humiliation so they would know to not ever mess with us again. Yeah, revenge – so often looked at as sweet and so often sought after as a dramatic answer to our woes. But is it? Is revenge sweet or desirable or even good? Well, the Bible says “vengeance is mine saith the Lord!” If God wants vengeance, then why shouldn’t we? Stay with us as we put revenge on the table to find out where or even if it should fit into our lives.
Anger, revenge and grudges! Sometimes our tolerance for others wears thin and we just want to...why we just want to let ‘em have it! Let ‘em know the heat of our wrath and the consequences for what we see as their wrong-doing and misbehavior. We want them to know that they can run but they cannot hide, for the long arm of justice will prevail! Now that that’s been said, the question is, SHOULD that be the way we think and act? Is there ever a time when we as Christians “take off the gloves” and show the full force of our dissatisfaction? This weekend, being the ninth anniversary of 9/11, we thought it appropriate to not only assess our position nine years later, but also to try and understand some current events and put it all in the context of God, tolerance, hard-heartedness and forgiveness.
Do you murmur? What does it mean to murmur anyway? Most of us don’t use that word too often, but when you think about it, the word sounds like what it means... murrrrmurrr... sort of an under your breath, nondescript sound that reflects a negative outlook on something. With this in mind, coupled with the fact that we live in a culture that revolves everything around ourselves, chances are that we not only murmur, we murmur a lot! Stay with us as we figure out where murmuring and complaining belong in our lives and look at practical ways to put them there!
We all have had experiences in our lives that have left a bitter taste in our mouths. Whether it is a self-inflicted emotional wound that brings the bitterness or a wound that comes from someone or somewhere else, the fact is, we are wounded and we become bitter. So, what does bitterness do? Is it ever helpful in any way? Is holding bitterness a practice that nourishes us or is holding bitterness a practice that eats us alive from the inside out? How do we recognize bitterness and how do we eradicate it from our lives? Today we look into a Biblical perspective on the burden of bitterness.