I am now twenty-five years old. That’s kinda weird to think about. I really love birthdays, it gives me a chance to reflect and dream about what can happen during this next phase of my life. Last year was really awesome, I talked about that in my post a couple weeks back; the biggest part was starting a new adventure with my dearest Danielle! As much as it was awesome, there were some challenges outside of that moment. I still deal with some of the rejection I faced, the knowledge that people who wronged me will never apologize gets me angry. I’ve struggled with anger for a long time, and if you’ve met me hopefully you wouldn’t think that. I learned a long time ago that anger feels very empty, it’s often just a reaction with no thought of the consequences that could come. I believe anger comes from fear. Our expectations and emotions were switched and we are filled with fear deep down as a result, then we get angry.
Anger is empty, love is fulfilling.
Maybe it’s the Bob Goff podcasts I’ve been listening to recently or the book It’s Personal, but I think love is such a huge factor as a believer. Jesus didn’t come to judge others or shame them, he chose to love everyone. Even the social outcasts and bad dudes, it didn’t matter if you believed him or not; Jesus always chose love. As a Christ follower, we are called to be like Jesus, so, that clearly means that we are to be a light by loving others. When it comes to anger, we have to re-train or first reaction, we have to change that with love. I cannot change anything by being angry at those who don’t like me or have hurt me, but I sure can love them. Now, this isn’t me saying you should invite abusers back into your life, I am saying that you can love everyone, some just need to be at a distance.
There’s a great movie that illustrates this concept, because yes, this is my month of talking about b-horror flicks, so you know I’m going to go wild. That movie is none other than, Beetlejuice.
Anger gets you into trouble; be wise.
Now this movie is a story about a couple who dies and has to figure out what being a ghost means. They are berated by irritating people who now live in their house, and the annoyance grows to anger. Anger can cause us to get tunnel vision, this one thing is giving me issues, so that means there is only one solution. When we act out of anger, it feels good, but that feeling never lasts. We end up causing more damage than we had before. In the film, our characters call Beetlejuice up, and he says he’ll help them, at first. There’s always a catch when we start listening to lies. Anger is rash and hurtful, we need to be wise. Take a moment to think about your actions. Is it beneficial to you? Does it hurt someone else? Are you doing the thing that you hate happened to you? Are you choosing forgiveness? It can be difficult to step back and be wise, trust me I struggle with this as much as anyone, but it is vital. We need to stop acting out of hate, and start acting out of love.
Choose love before all else; that’s how you become the light.
God has a plan and we fit into that purpose. We are called to be the light, and the only way we can be a light is if we are different. Light shines in darkness, so how are we living if we aren’t being radically different than our surrounding? I have noticed that the world reacts in anger, the first reaction is to hate others or people who aren’t like us. It’s time to stop. Especially for Christ followers, I see too much hate from people that claim to be Christ followers and it breaks my heart. You are not a light by tearing someone else down. You are a light when you choose to love those no matter what, that’s what Jesus did, and we should all strive to be more like him.
The cool part about the movie, yeah don’t forget these lessons from this classic, is that once the ghosts choose to live in harmony with their humans, that’s when life gets better for our characters. They no longer let a crazed maniac destroy, but choose to love and forgive.
You may think I sound really passive when I say we need to love others, but the truth is, choosing to love is what Jesus did. The easy option is to be angry and hate, the true way to be a light is to love others. Start loving others the way Jesus does.
On my twenty-fifth birthday, I am choosing to love more. I’m tired of being angry, I’m tired of giving others who don’t care about me and space in my mental health. I am choosing to forgive and love, moving forward in freedom. I hope people in my life will feel loved and encouraged when they are around me, because there is too much negativity in this world. We all need to step into what Jesus has called us into, to love others and be a light in the darkness. Don’t let fear creep in and cause you to react in anger; it’s all lies. Anything that doesn’t come from scripture is a lie, and Satan is a damned liar. You are made by God and you have nothing to fear because of him. It may seem silly that I got this from a movie like, Beetlejuice, but it’s the truth. Actively choose to react with love before anger. Be wise and be a light, in all things, have a love reaction no matter what may come.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__