Update on our brother being threatened for his faith. He received a phone call from the one who has been threatening him, this time demanding $50,000. This happened to him four years ago when he was cornered in an alley and threatened with imprisonment for becoming a Christian if he did not pay $50,000.
He sent his family into hiding where they changed locations every night. (Kidnapping children and demanding $50,000 is common there among the Taliban, Al Quida, ISIS, etc. If you do not pay, they either kill the child or make them slaves the rest of their life.) He went to yet another province to hide and draw attention away from his family. He sold his house and they escaped to India. He could not find a job, so their only choice was to finish raising their children in a UN immigration camp or return home. They returned to a different city and I think he paid them a periodic bribe after that.
He had only been a Christian a year at that time. This time he has been a Christian five years. When they called and demanded $50,000 yesterday, he refused to talk to them and hung up the phone.
Keep praying for this mighty warrior for the Lord.
BTW, his son has had to drop out of university and go into hiding with the rest of the family, so he has asked me for many Bible materials to study. About a year ago when he was 19, he told his father, “I want to be a preacher some day. I know they will kill me, but that’s what I want to do.”
The scripture for today, April 4, is Psalm 4:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“In your anger do not sin.”
This seems like an impossibility. After all, when people get angry, don’t they lash out at other people? And yell and call them names? And show their temper? Maybe even throw a few things? After all, that’s the only way to get across to the other person that you are really angry.
Not so. If a child, for instance, does what s/he was just told not to do, we become angry. Angry at the dangerous consequence of their action. Angry at not doing something to make that child a better person.
We can choose to lash out at the child wildly so that our emotions mask our words. Or we can choose to talk calmly and explain the dangers that child was put in because of that action, or the missed opportunities. We can even punish a child without losing our temper. We can calmly but firmly tell them what their punishment is.
It is the same way with adults. If we lose our temper and shoot daggers with our eyes and rant and rave, all these things distract people from our words. Are we wanting to punish them or reconcile? Aren’t our words of explanation more important than the emotionalism and yelling? If we were hurt, just say so. If they hurt themselves, just say so.
While we’re at it, not all words help. Name calling does not help. Name calling is done when we choose not to explain how we feel.
Name calling locks the other person in and sets them up for future failures between us and them. Losing our temper during anger gets us off the issue and into sin.
Let us try to remain calm and then explain the problem in tones that the person who has angered us can truly listen to and learn from. If you have trouble doing this, practice when you’re alone. It will teach us to remain calm when we’re angry so we can explain how we feel, not how bad the other person is. When we are angry, we must not sin.
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