Still sad, but having slept on it . . . now motivated

Posted on May 8, 2012

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Yesterday I was pretty upset.

I should have slept on it before posting ‘Don’t know if  I’m sad or angry‘.

After writing any newsletter or important email I ‘sleep on it’. It’s one of my rules. I’m sure that anyone who writes would have this rule. My brain needs a break, and if it’s an emotional subject like suicide, I also need to allow room for the Lord to challenge my heart and attitudes. Next day, when I come back to what I’ve written, there is always something needing adjustment for clarity, accuracy, or objectivity.

Sad about the young man’s suicide? Yes of course. Angry . . . ?

Yes I was angry but I must be careful. Where does my anger lead me? Unlike Jesus, I am prone to sin so I’d better be careful to consult Him about the condition of my own heart before speaking out (Matthew 7:1-5; Galatians 6:1,2 etc). I have seen missionaries who have become bitter and brittle or cynical about the people they have been sent to serve. No way do I want to become one of those!

It takes time to work through the things that bring anger (and I confess, I was angry at the churches and ministers that don’t teach the Word of God and thereby allow the Devil room to destroy people’s lives). But personal repentance restores godly perspective. It takes time to work through this, thus the need to ‘sleep on it’ before publishing.

Now today (having slept on it) and having spent quiet time with the Lord so He can challenge and adjust my attitudes (repentance), my anger has turned to motivated compassion. A fresh zeal to see God properly represented through His Word, and renewed compassion for the people who need to find the Truth that will set them free (John 8:32) – including the erring church leaders I wrote about.

After all, I am a missionary to the South Pacific Islands, and the desperate state of the local church is the whole reason for God sending me there.

So, a positive outcome for this.

I am very motivated. More than before hearing the bad news. We have already had good success in terms of reaching and discipling people into a lifestyle of grace and fruitfulness. And I have met people with stories of how God has used our ministry to help them escape suicide. This whole tragic episode (the young man’s death, plus my momentary anger) has fired me up to find and tell more  hopeless people about the living hope they have in Jesus Christ. So that there will be even more great stories to tell, of victory and grace in the Islands.

As usual, I invite your comments or observations.

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Posted in: Spiritual growth