Monday, December 21, 2009

Can Grouchy Be Godly?

I wish I could say that I've never been grouchy.

You know what I mean. Grumpy, Touchy, Irritable, Short Tempered, Grumbling, Crabby, Prickly, Sour, Cross, Crotchety, Cranky and Cantankerous. I remember with regret that too many times these words could describe me - and sometimes in the misguided illusion that I was being "spiritual."

How so, you ask, with justified wonder?

The usual suspects. Pride. Selfishness. Self-Pity. You believe you are superior to others. You think you are "suffering for Jesus." You suppose that grouchiness is godliness and you grouse and grumble against all the faults and failings of people who don't think and act just like you.

Can you find grouchy in the fruit of the Spirit?
(Galatians 5:22-23) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Do you suppose that Jesus was grouchy? Not even when He was facing down Satan during His temptation in the Wilderness? Not even when He was driving the money changers from the temple courts? Not even when He was pronouncing severe condemnation on religious hypocrites?

I don't think so.

Jesus delivered some severe messages - but He did even that in love and compassion. He held no grudges. In every situation Jesus demonstrated mercy. Even on the cross, He did not rail against His tormentors, but prayed, "Father, forgive them..."

Grouchy is NOT godly. In fact, godliness will eliminate grouchiness.
(Ephesians 4:31-32) Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
To know Christ should imbue us with a thankful heart and a thankful person can hardly be a grouchy person.
(1Thessalonians 5:16-19) ¶ Rejoice always,
17 pray without ceasing,
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 ¶ Do not quench the Spirit.

1 comment:

Bobbi said...

Great, now you made me cry! You're right...thanks for the reminder. As I work through John, I find it so amazing that Jesus' brothers did not believe in him(at first)...at best, he had to be really odd to live with...the perfect God man. There's a lot of Christmas spiritual grouches right now...what with the cantatas and kid's performances and whatnot...and you're right...it's wrong and far far FAR from Godly!