Do I Show Love, or Show Anger? (#BestOf)

(the Best of) A Year of Being Kind, Friday, February 23, 2015

This is a sweet, poignant blog post featuring one of my favorite people, now dead several years. Fred Rogers, of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood fame. I can always use this lesson, Fred, and always need to consider your words on caring and attachment, as well as managing my angry feelings.

Do I Show Love, or Show Anger? Good Question.

Posted on February 28, 2014 by chaplaineliza

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, February 27, 2014

heart - on a branch

Do I Show Love, or Show Anger? Good Question.

“Kids! I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today!” Really, being the mother of two teenagers can have its challenges. It is so easy for me to become irritated, even exasperated with my teens. I guess God has given me an opportunity to be kind and to show love right here in my own home.

I’ve been a mom for more than half of my life, but sometimes I feel like I’m still a beginner, a rank amateur at this business of being a parent. I know I’ve mentioned this little book a couple of weeks ago—The World According to Mister Rogers, written by Fred Rogers (of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood fame). Here’s a pertinent quote from Mr. Rogers:

“It’s the people we love the most who can make us feel the gladdest . . . and the maddest! Love and anger are such a puzzle! It’s hard for us, as adults, to understand and manage our angry feelings toward parents, spouses, and children, or to keep their anger toward us in perspective. It’s a different kind of anger from the kind we may feel toward strangers because it is so deeply intertwined with caring and attachment.”

Oh, Mister Rogers, how right you are! I end up getting angry or irritated or upset with my family and with my spouse so much more than I might at complete strangers. I act in an informal, natural way with my family and close friends. Strangers or people I don’t know very well get served my ‘company manners.’ (Usually, that is.) And as Fred Rogers mentioned, anger expressed in close relationships is different. More complicated. More deeply intertwined with caring, attachment, and deep emotion.

I’m not particularly attached to my mail carrier—although I’m sure she’s a really nice lady. But my son or daughter still living at home? My older daughters on their own? My dear husband? Even my siblings—although we haven’t been in the same house for a couple of decades. All of us are bound together with caring, attachment, and deep emotion.

I fly off the handle—sometimes. I bite my tongue—less often than I should. God, I need more patience! But I am not wild with the way the Bible says You will grant me more of that valuable commodity. And this—in the middle of this is where God has placed me. God, I get the message. You want me to show love not only to strangers and casual acquaintances, but show love towards my family. Close friends. I know I will fall down on the job, but God is right there to help me up again.

I sure am glad that God has seen fit to provide such awesome help to me. I readily admit I need it! And God willing, God will be there for us, no matter what.


(Suggestion: visit me at my blog: matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers– where I am doing a Lenten journey. #PursuePEACE. Thanks!)

(also published at .   @chaplaineliza And read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er – Thanks!)


What if People are Unkind to Me? What Then?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, February 9, 2014

LOVE God loves everyone

What if People are Unkind to Me? What Then?

Ah, this is a big question in my mind right about now.

I do have the spiritual gifts of helps and encouragement (among others). But what if I can’t find a way to be helpful? What if someone won’t allow me to be encouraging? What if someone shuts me down before I even open my mouth? What then?

I know the scripted answer. Yeah, yeah. I need to be kind to them. That’s what I’m “supposed to” do.

I get the sneaking feeling—well, all right, God. I know what You’re going to say already. You want me to be kind to them. Period. It’s not only the loving thing for me to do, it’s the kind thing. And the merciful thing. And the morally right thing. On top of everything else, what would Jesus do? (Yes, we’re back to that again.) How would God treat an unkind person?

I know what the Bible says. I Corinthians 13 tells me to love, and gives specific parameters for that loving. Verse four tells me that love is patient and kind. Okay, I ought to be patient and kind. Not some of the time, not part of the time. Not even most of the time. There are no time frame stipulations on love. So I figure God wants me to love all the time.

But what about . . . so-and-so? What’s-his-face isn’t kind, at all! So-and-so wouldn’t be patient if you paid her! Um, I have the feeling that my protests and excuses just won’t go too far. God is going to be like a kind, patient but strict teacher—or coach, or manager. It doesn’t matter how What’s-his-face or So-and-so might act. (As Aslan would say, that’s part of their story. I am not to concern myself with them or their situations. I have quite enough to handle with my story and living my life to the best of my ability. Oh, yeah. And to the glory of God, too.)

Let me turn the tables, as much as I’m hesitant, and tell tales on myself. Yes, I know I’m unkind some of the time. I’m one of those mean, unkind people. I must make some people really angry and upset sometimes. Even though I honestly try not to be unkind, I fly off the handle, I get upset. I lose my patience and get irritated. Yes, guilty as charged. What about you? Are you unkind, once in a while? More often than that?

In the past few days, I have been irritated with people I know. I have lost my patience here at home. I have raised my voice in the car, and yelled at the other drivers. But God still loves me, forgives me. God still waits, arms outstretched. God wants to welcome me back home. Can I do any less? I need to look for ways to be loving, patient and kind, as much as possible. God, help me look for opportunities.