Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
December 27, 2009
end a good time to bring closure to unresolved conflict
of us struggle with unresolved conflict with other persons. Truth be told, some
of our disagreements are unsolvable. There are some problems we simply cannot
fix. However it is possible to bring closure, at least in our own minds, to
some of the conflicts that create inner turmoil. The ending of the year is a
good time to mull this over.
anger for example. Sometimes we “permit” minor things to push our anger button.
A driver cuts in front of us. A friend’s subtle criticism hurts our feelings. Some idiot makes us wait forever in line at
the super market. Anger is kindled within us. How do we put out this fire that
solution involves using your brain. Back away and think about what is
happening. Then admit three things to yourself. First, anger hurts you, not the person who is
the object of your rage. Second, no one can make you angry unless you give that
person permission to do so. Third, you can choose to give up your anger and let
it go. You can spit it out like a plum seed.
is clinically true that anger disrupts the normal functions of the human body’s
organs. That being true, why allow your own attitude to injure your liver or
your kidneys? Common sense tells me it is stupid to hurt myself with my own
this calendar year ends, we have a choice. We can choose to dispose of any
lingering anger within us just as we do the garbage – throw it out! That is what anger is anyway – garbage. And the
longer we let it hang around, the worse it stinks.
and resentment are kissing cousins of anger. They are like demons lurking in
the darkness, waiting to hurt us. If we allow them lodging in our hearts, they
can rob us of our joy and eventually destroy us. No one is immune to these
villains. Like the flu, they can attack us and wound us.
we need to guard carefully the door of our hearts. If a friend gets a promotion
we thought we deserved, we must deal sternly with the resentment that pops up.
We can tell ourselves that our turn will come later – or we can embrace the
face that it may never come. But we can overcome our resentment by choosing to
congratulate our friend for the promotion. It is living out that “Do unto
others” thing that Jesus talked about.
with others sometimes develops when we insist that people live by the standards
we have chosen. But our society is highly diverse, and more so every day. So it
is necessary to allow others freedom to make a myriad of personal choices, many
of which may be different from our own.
of us can make choices for others. We must make our own and learn to be
comfortable with the “strange” decisions some people make in a free society. It helps to remember that we are not all
people like chicken; others like fish. Some folks like country music; others
like opera. We can make ourselves miserable if we constantly insist that
everybody eat chicken and like country music.
People are different. The art is to learn to
enjoy our own personal uniqueness rather than focus on the weirdness of others.
When we do, we find our stomachs will digest either chicken or fish without the
need for Tums or Alka- Seltzer.
pose a dilemma for some people. Parents can become embroiled with their teen-agers
about the length of hair. Some young people challenge the authority of their
parents by demanding the freedom to make their own decisions about issues like
music and hair style. To survive, parents have to learn to give and take rather
than trying to exercise total control of a teenager’s behavior.
brings up an important principle for life. There are some ditches not worth
dying in. Both sanity and peace are soon
lost if we choose to fight about every issue that comes up. We must, then,
learn to choose wisely those ditches we are willing to die in. Obviously the
length of a person’s hair is not worth a fight. We can save our energy for moral
issues that demand a fight to the finish.
automobile runs better if the radiator is flushed now and then. The human mind
can benefit from a good flushing too. There are attitudes, ideas, and
dispositions that, like rust, can be detrimental to our mental health. So flush
If we are willing we
can bring closure to some of the conflicts that keep our stomachs tied in
knots. How? Well, stop insisting on
having your way about everything. Embrace the fact that you are not always
right. Stop trying to change other people. Forgive people you are holding a
grudge against. Give people the freedom
to disagree with your opinions. Choose to enjoy yourself – and be thankful for
the people who genuinely like you. Such choices can give you a jump-start on
making 2010 a happy New Year! + + +