My husband and I follow a cartoon strip called “Pickles,” heartily identifying with the elderly couple depicted there. The two race in and out of hilarious situations, always good for a laugh. In a recent series, however, they encountered a challenge common to man, and their way of dealing with it, while humorous, spotlighted the type of attitudes that tend to creep in when we let our guard down.
Earl and Opal had each lost an item belonging to the other. Being equally at fault, neither felt justified in being angry with their mate, but oh, how they wanted to! So their solution? Completely independently and unknown to each other, they embarked on a race to find the items they had lost, hoping to claim the “right” to be angry with their spouse.
I laughed through that entire series, and still find myself giggling when I think about it; it was just so human. And that’s exactly what it was – human! Certainly not godly.
It’s human to look at things from a negative perspective, and to resort to anger when our “rights” or our boundaries have been violated. That’s the sin nature rearing its ugly head. But God calls us to rise above the world’s way of thinking and look at things from His perspective. “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thess. 5:18. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I Peter 5:8. There are dozens of other Scripture verses that focus on the same theme: choose to rise above. Take the high road! Challenges come; problems arise. But God’s will for us is NOT that we look around for someone to blame, or to claim our “right” to be angry. God’s will is that we look beyond the circumstances to the joy set before us and live a life of love.