Be that City
Seems like so many of us, on too many occasions, lose sight of what it means to be a Christ follower once we get behind the wheel of a car. I’m positive I’m not the only person who has forgotten the WWJD (WhatWouldJesusDo) lesson.
I’m reminded of this one time when I had entered an on-ramp to the interstate. Just after I turned, I noticed a car super close to me. I thought, geez, where did they come from. Anyway, I’ve never been accused of being a slow driver, so I stepped on it. I kept looking in the mirror and as much as I accelerated, this car appeared to be stuck to mine. I looked again as we entered the interstate – yup, still there.
By this time, I noticed we had entered where the lane indicated “Exit Only” so I quickly changed lanes at the exact time the car following me did. Apparently, this person behind me did not like the lane change; they got in the lane next to me, slowed down and waved to me. I noticed this guy was either really friendly who was missing three fingers, or he wasn’t so nice because I only saw one.
My initial reaction was to catch up to the other car and, I don’t know, maybe shake my fist at him. However, my wife told me to relax; it was not a big deal.
The truth is my reaction was out of anger, not unlike the unfortunate guy who was missing three fingers.
I would suspect that most of us who drive have had this happen. I would also suspect that most of us get angry. Anger is real in our lives; it’s an emotion God gave to us. Anger isn’t a sin; it’s simply part of being human. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:26-27 (MSG):
26 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry. Don't go to bed angry. 27 Don't give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
That’s what my reaction was, to seek revenge. I had zero compassion for the amputee. Clearly this guy had issues and I fell right into the enemy’s clutches. God wants so much more from us in situations like that. We must learn to release our anger to Him and let it go. Reminding ourselves it’s what we do with our anger that set’s us believers apart from those who don’t know Christ.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:14 (NLT):
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”
If we continue to react out of anger, how can we be a light to anyone? In my opinion, it’s very difficult to build a relationship with God or others if we allow the enemy to take over this emotion and live a life always being angry.
Maybe we are angry because of a situation we have faced, or we might be angry at someone or maybe even God. Whatever your anger, lean on God, lay your anger down at the foot of the cross. Allow God to use you and be that city!