Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Short Fuse

James 1:17-20 “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”

Any of us that have or have had the privilege of igniting firecracker on the fourth of July know physically what a short fuse looks like and may have experienced the negative effect of lighting one of those bad boys off. My ears are still ringing. In case you don’t know, sometimes when we light one of those ladyfingers off, the fuse would burn right down to the firecracker, then go out. Not wanting to waste a single big bang, we’d proceed to grab that little nub of a fuse that remained and gently pulled it out a little more. This was proceeded by the not-so-thought-out procedure of relighting that short fuse and getting out of the way before it exploded and damaged something. Consequences never crossed our mind then. Everything is fun until someone gets hurt.

That term “short fused” is now used to describe someone who is quick-tempered, hot-tempered, easily provoked, impetuous, rash, touchy, volatile and let those firecrackers … explosive. Webster’s dictionary defines the term as “a tendency to get angry easily”. They let things get under their thin skin. We all know the type and maybe have been that person before once or twice.

Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

But, there is no love, joy or peace in being “short fused”. Not only are they miserable, but everyone around that person is walking on egg shell trying and to set them off. It surely is not what our Maker, Father God, intended. Our good Lord God, who spoke the Cosmos into existence, never changes, but is in the business of changing us for the better. By His mercy and grace, we can be born-anew with a heart inclined towards God and flowing with the fruit of the Spirit of God – changed from the inside out. The opening passage gives us the Christian recipe to the mature thick-skinned long-suffering patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that each and everyone of us seek. That being to know and understand that whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father and that we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. 

James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Life in the jungle of this “fallen in sin world” is no bowl full of cherries, but the bad things (little or big) are really no big thing in the grand scope of life. When a child of God goes down, they go up, so let the stuff that bugs you be like water on a duck. Happiness is holiness as God intended it. Have the God-perspective and you will not have a short fuse.

In Christ, Brian

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