PLACING MYSELF ABOVE OTHERS
“Anger is always an attack on the brother’s life, for it refuses to let him live and aims at his destruction….Every idle word which we think so little of betrays our lack of respect for our neighbor, and shows that we place ourselves on a pinnacle above him and value our own lives higher than his. The angry word is a blow struck at our brother, a stab at his heart: it seeks to hit, to hurt and to destroy….When a man gets angry with his brother…when he…insults or slanders him, he is guilty of murder…He erects a barrier not only between himself and his brother, but also between himself and God. He no longer has access to him: his sacrifice, worship and prayer are not acceptable in his sight. For the Christian, worship cannot be divorced from the service of the brethren,…God will not be separated from our brother: he wants no honor for himself so long as our brother is dishonored….There is therefore only one way of following Jesus and of worshipping God, and that is to be reconciled with our brethren” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p127-129).
FATHER, Your love for everyone in Your creation is so great that You refuse to commune with me any further if I am the least bit critical of anyone. I cannot be as sweet water, worshipping You and, at the same time, bitter water and angry at my bother. If I’m not sweet to my brother, You will be bitter toward me. How greatly grieved You are when my words, even in jest, speak negatively of someone.
The Apostle Paul says, “…I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Cor 9:27 ESV). Paul knows how easy it is to put himself above others with angry or idle words. He knows he must subdue his corrupt tendencies and thus warns himself (and me). (ref#16, [1 Cor 9:27]).
So, today, FATHER, I ask that You make me aware of how I dishonor people. I surely desire to not lose Your presence because of saying and thinking unkindness toward someone.