Thanksgiving Is Here!

Thanksgiving is here already! It’s hard to believe there is just, over a month, left to 2014. I blinked and zoom it’s close to the end of the year.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for many reasons, I love this season as far as the weather goes, I love how things look outside, I love the clothes we get to wear, boots, sweaters, and scarves.

Most of all, I love that this is the beginning of the time that people purpose to get together. Despite the work the 

Thanksgiving meal takes, to prepare, it is a time to really enjoy eating, and conversing with others.

Typically I would be writing something, that had to do with Thanksgiving, but this year... it will be a stretch.  Maybe, what I want to write about this week in my blog, will lead people to take a moment, and think about the relationships in their own lives, before they do sit down at that Thanksgiving table. 

Ephesians 4:26 “…Do not let the sun go down on your anger.”

I have a really mature reaction to this part of verse twenty-six in chapter four of Ephesians. Ugh! And “groan.” I have to admit I really struggle with this. 

Sometimes, I’m so tired and grumpy at night, that it’s way too hard to have a forgiving heart for all of the things that bugged me during the day that didn’t get dealt with earlier. I roll over and go to sleep. Usually, things do look much better in the morning.

This part of the verse is stressful to obey. In our house when the sun goes down, and it gets close to bed time, we can all get cranky. We need to get our heads on our pillows and not mess around.

Being cranky, feeling grumpy, okay, it’s hard not to take it out on the ones closest to you, but it’s something a person has to learn - Not to dump their garbage in other people’s emotional yards.

I’ve noticed, from my own experience, and from watching and talking to others - the closer a person gets to another person there will be things that are just plain irritating. Especially, the things that attracted people to hang out with each other in the first place, those things tend to grate on the nerves.

My opinion - if a person is coasting through life and they don’t ever get frustrated with anyone or any situation, they need to get closer to people. Because everyone has their differences and the cool thing about all of the relational ins and outs is…As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17 NKV.

I’m not talking about when a person loses their head at other drivers who are on the road, or other shoppers in the check-out line, or the lack of customer service kind of irritation. I think when a person is reacting to those things, a mood elevator herb, or taking more B vitamins, or getting more sleep, or just having some grace will take care of that.   

I am talking about the type of irritation that comes from building relationships, when suddenly people who are building relationships, or working together, or volunteering together - well…Aargh!

When people reach a moment where they can’t communicate. They can’t hear each other. And to be honest, they don’t want to hear each other.  

And then…

A person can feel so mad! Or feelings can get hurt!

Which can lead to – SILENCE, which is so LOUD and it can go on for a few minutes, hours, days, or for a very longtime.

Or Yelling, where everyone wants to be heard and NO ONE is listening.

Or a person just needs to do some feel good things like - Throwing - sometimes it just feels good to throw down that set of keys in your hand, my personal favorite - a pillow, whatever, just so it’s not harmful and not meant to hurt, it can be so relieving when frustrated.

When anger moments happen, it can sometimes take forever to get back to that warm, fuzzy, place in a relationship. Sad thing is - some people never do.

Those moments become the end of a relationship.

“…Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.”

When anger takes root, bitterness grows if not taken care of, but forgiveness always leads to the road of reconciliation, whether with the situation or with the person. Sometimes, the relationship never gets reconciled. Sometimes, it just takes time for all of the hurt and mis-communication to be worked out. Sometimes, it’s just plain over.

But we still need to forgive, as Jesus forgives us, even when there isn't reconciliation.

Paul, who wrote the book of Ephesians and was the one who said for us, to not let the sun go down on our anger, had a period in his life that Christians feared him. Paul would round them up and have them killed. He was on his way to round up some Christians when Jesus called out to him, right from heaven, on a dusty road, and told him to stop what he was doing.

Paul went through some major heart changes, and became a believer in Jesus, which is cool, but the Christians didn’t trust him. I mean do you blame them? He could have been tricking them, just to get into their circle, and then wipe them all out.

But…He had a friend named Barnabas –

Acts 9:26-28New King James Version (NKJV)
Saul at Jerusalem
26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out.
Barnabas and Saul then went on to do ministry together, they were beaten together, and they saw people come to believe in Jesus together.
They went on a mission and they brought along a young guy named, Mark.

Acts 12

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.

At Antioch in Pisidia Acts 13

13 Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem. 

Division over John Mark Acts 15

36 Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.”37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God.41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
After all they had been through, Barnabas and Paul departed ways over John called Mark. Now, there isn’t a recorded reconciliation of Paul and Barnabas, and we don’t hear about Barnabas again outright. But we do hear about his work through another story about Paul and Mark.
2 Timothy 4: (I bolded the sentence)
Be diligent to come to me quickly; 10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. 12 And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments.
Barnabas had been right to not give up on Mark. After all of that, Paul ended up wanting Mark with him to do ministry. I don’t know if Barnabas and Paul ever met again and reconciled, but I do know from this story that somehow Paul and Mark came back together. And Barnabas made a good move to mentor Mark despite what his good friend thought.
Didn’t Barnabas do that very same thing for Paul when the other Christians didn’t want him around? Barnabas was being true to himself. It seems that he was the type of guy that no matter what it cost him, he was there for the underdog.
When Paul was in chains in Ephesus he wrote;
Ephesians 4
Do Not Grieve the Spirit
25 Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry, and do not sin”:[f] do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Be angry and do not sin. It’s okay to be angry, just don’t sin when you are angry. Don’t do something evil. And don’t hold on to it. Forgive. Work for reconciliation, if reconciliation doesn’t come and you have to make the decision to just let it go…really let it go, and forgive the person and the situation.

Maybe, just maybe, reconciliation will happen later on.
I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!


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