Tag Archives: Psalm 37

Don’t Be Annoyed

(By David.)

Trust the Lord

37 Don’t be annoyed by anyone
who does wrong,
    and don’t envy them.
They will soon disappear
    like grass without rain.

Trust the Lord and live right!
    The land will be yours,
    and you will be safe.
Do what the Lord wants,
    and he will give you
    your heart’s desire.

Let the Lord lead you
    and trust him to help.
Then it will be as clear
as the noonday sun
    that you were right.

Be patient and trust the Lord.
    Don’t let it bother you
when all goes well for those
    who do sinful things.
Don’t be angry or furious.
    Anger can lead to sin.
All sinners will disappear,
    but if you trust the Lord,
    the land will be yours.

Ooooh!  Don’t be annoyed by anyone… (or as the KJV says, “Fret not yourself” – love that!) That is so a message I need to hear.  Oh, there’s more of that sentence.  Don’t be annoyed by anyone who does wrong.  Still an equally important message.  We are not responsible for their actions – but we are for our own.  Whilst we’re busy looking at what others are doing and sitting in judgement on their mistakes, are we missing our own?  Does it make us feel better to sit in righteous indignation?

I sometimes think that these “fly on the wall” tv series are designed to make us feel better about ourselves.  To be able to look at the lives of others and think, “I would never do that”, to judge those we have no idea of their lives, and consider ourselves better.

The message of this Psalm is don’t worry about those who do wrong, let God deal with them.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t campaign against wrong, for example the atrocious fancy dress costumes highlighted last week that after a social media campaign were withdrawn, but that we shouldn’t worry if those who do wrong seem to be getting along and doing well.

We should trust God and do what he asks of us – not dissimilar to God’s reply to Habakkuk

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Give, Live and Love Generously – Christmas Day 10

Salvation Army volunteer hands hot meal and water

Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying,

“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.”

Some times we can feel we’re a bit all ‘given out’.  That we have nothing left, or perhaps that we’d like someone to give to us for a change.

As Christians we are called to love, and live generously.

To be generous, we need to hold what we have very loosely.

Nouwen points to being able to give means that we are moving from fear to love.

People who fear cling to things, hold them tightly around them.  If you are afraid, you cannot let go, and you cannot give.

Nouwen also tells us that the word generosity comes from the  same root as referring to being of one kind. And so true generosity comes from knowing not feeling.  Those to whom I give belong to my family – whether I recognise them or not.

It is from that basis that we give.  Not because we know, like or feel sorry for someone – but because they are our fellow human being.

Trust the Lord

Be patient and trust the Lord.
Don’t let it bother you
when all goes well for those
who do sinful things.
Don’t be angry or furious.
Anger can lead to sin.
All sinners will disappear,
but if you trust the Lord,
the land will be yours.

16 It is better to live right
and be poor
than to be sinful and rich.

21 An evil person borrows
and never pays back;
a good person is generous
and never stops giving.

At our church, we have a 10% Challenge going: Each week as we do our shop, we are challenged to calculate 10% of it and spend that on buying things for the Winter Shelter for the homeless in our town.  That certainly focuses my mind – both on what I have in abundance that I take for granted and what others don’t have.  I actually find myself grateful for the opportunity to give in that way – thought it costs me little in personal terms than some money.

Giving is not just about ‘things’, though it’s a place to start.  Giving is about so much more – giving ourselves, our time, our skills, our attention, being open and available.

What have we, that someone else needs?  How freely can I give?  Can I let down my barriers, that I can let go – of what I have, of my very self?

Can we live, give and love generously?  That is the work of God, the work begun at Christmas in the manger.

(h/t to Robb for these words http://bigbible.org.uk/2012/12/is-christmas-over/)

And the prayer from the book:

Lord,

you who were given to the world

by your Father.

whose gift is beyond all generosity,

teach us to give generously

out of the love you have granted to us.

Amen

This year for Advent – and into Christmas, some friends and I are using Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen.   You’re welcome to join us on this journey.  Feel free to comment here, or on Twitter using #adventbookclub

Also blogging on the #adventbookclub are:

http://www.likeasthehart.me.uk/

http://drbexl.co.uk/

http://clairemaxim1.wordpress.com/

http://runninglife.wordpress.com/

http://dorothy726blog.wordpress.com/