This past Sunday, I had the exciting opportunity to attend a Texas Rangers Baseball game with some of my family – and what a game it was!! Two home runs by the Rangers and a winning score was good enough for me, but in the eighth inning things turned a little ugly. Right before our eyes, a major brawl broke out, grabbing national attention. Personally, I’m not one that enjoys watching players throwing punches, but the fan sitting next to me was absolutely thrilled. He said it was his birthday, and seeing the fight was the best birthday present ever!
What caused this major fight to break out between the Rangers and the Blue Jays? There are many speculations, but the bottom line is that there is a good amount of pent up anger between the two teams which culminated in Sunday’s fighting match. The feuding history between these rivals spurred on a bitter battle on the field.
Ironically, after the game there was a concert on the field performed by TobyMac – a Christian artist with a powerful message filled with humility, grace and forgiveness. You probably didn’t see that on the evening news. Fights are so much more exciting! But what is the message we want to get across to our children and to society at large?
Do we want to encourage the next generation to work out their anger and frustrations through fighting and revenge, or do we want to promote a better way? The Bible teaches us how to resolve conflicts and work through anger. In its pages, we learn how to love our enemies and forgive those who have hurt us. We learn about grace – grace toward others, because God has shown us grace through His Son.
As believers, let’s demonstrate to the world what God’s love looks like. Let’s be different. Sure we all get angry, but as Christ’s followers, His Spirit can give us the strength and wisdom to work through issues, let go of bitterness and live with grace toward one another. God’s Spirit loving through us can make a positive and powerful difference in this world. Let’s let HIs love be our signature.
It seems fitting that this morning I happened to read these words by the apostle Peter:
All of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will grant you His blessing. I Peter 3:8-9