A time for anger
Have you ever found yourself so angry that you were bursting at the seams with it? That is not a good place to be. Before his conversion, Paul found himself as angry as that. He was angry at the community of Jesus because everything they did, they did to glorify God, just as Jesus had demonstrated. That was UNJUSTIFIED ANGER.
Paul the Pharisee, was angry that the community of Jesus were gaining strength. He was angry that they were making converts, and that many Jews were now following The Way. The Way of course referred to the teaching, the life and the ministry of Jesus. At that time Paul was a bully who spread confusion, disagreement, sarcasm and disapproval as he terrorised the community of Jesus.
Paul however learned to see beyond that unjustified anger. It was through his experience on the road to Damascus, and his learning more about The Way, that he himself was transformed. In time, he became a new person. Those he had terrorised couldn't believe it at first, but Paul's transformation made him, an encourager, an affirmer, one who built people up, an enabler, a worshipper. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 he tells the church "Encourage one another and build up each other". Paul was able to see the value of doing every single thing for the glory of God. Every thing from the simplistic to the most profound.
As the community of Christ, do we do every single thing to glorify God?
Look at what Paul wrote:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NRSV)
As church, do you do everything for the glory of God? As individuals do you conduct yourself as a member of the community of Jesus for the glory of God? Are you an encourager and an enabler? Are you encouraging each other to build God's community up? And are you angry with yourself when you step back and discover that you are doing the opposite of that? As the community of Jesus, are you angry with each other for not building one another up? And if you are THAT is JUSTIFIED ANGER!
Revd. Mark Robinson