In the video today I am going to talk about Psalm 37, it is the longest of the three that you will read today. It is a little unusual as well, it is a little more like a Proverb than a Psalm. I am actually going to say very little about the entire Psalm, so read it carefully, I am going to focus in on just a few verses. I am also going to make mention of Psalm 38 as well.
I have two great regrets in raising my children, well maybe three. The two regrets come from one great regret. I wish that I had been the Jesus follower I am today when I was raising my girls. I wish this for two reasons, the two great regrets. Number one being I always filled the house with media, sound, stuff, I wish I had helped them better understand the discipline of being able to sit in simple silence. This seems silly but it is personal to me. The second great regret and I am trusting all of you with this confession, I wish I had not been so angry. I have spoken a lot of my fear in the last few videos and often fear leads to anger. Because I was afraid of so many things, I often responded to situations with anger and my children often saw me angry. Angry at the world, angry at other people, angry at myself and sometimes even angry at them. Today in Psalm 37 it says this…
Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
Anger only leads to harm. This is so true. As I have moved along my path with Jesus I have gotten a handle on my fear and this has help me get a handle on my anger. However, I do become sad when I think back to all the angry things I said about people and the times that I was angry at my children. I am thankful that there was no social media in those days. I would hate to have a public record of some of my anger.
In these days, I look at the world, I look at social media, and see so much harm being caused by angry words. On the Resource UMC website they offer the following on Doing No Harm on social media.
Rule #1: Do no harm.
Job writes, “To do no harm means that I will be on guard so that all my actions and even my silence will not add injury to another of God’s children or to any part of God’s creation.” Doing no harm means respecting the cultures and life situations of those with whom we minister.
When we engage with others online, we may forget that living, breathing people with thoughts and feelings are on the other end of the digital conversation. With almost 70 percent of all communication being nonverbal, we may easily misunderstand what someone is trying to convey or how another interprets our intentions. It is easy to focus so much on proving a particular point that we cause unintended harm.
When engaging in social media activities, take the time to discern both the intention and the potential consequences of online engagement:
- What is the intent of the post? Does it show Christ’s love or does it focus on judgment and condemnation?
- Do I speak disparagingly about anyone involved? Do I try to use facts and opinions to manipulate others to my viewpoint?
- Could this post “do harm” to the reputation of Christ, the church or another person or organization?
- Could someone interpret the post as harmful, offensive, rude or distasteful?
- Does this interaction recognize each person involved as a “loved child of God – a recipient of love unearned, unlimited and underserved – just like myself”?
Read: Psalms 37, 38, and 39
Questions to Consider:
1. Have you every struggled with anger?
2. Do you have any great regrets in life?
3. What other words of wisdom speak to you from the Psalm?
Activity for the Day: Are you angry at someone? Do you need to put that anger away? Now is a great time to offer forgiveness and move on.