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"Football is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that."

Bill Shankly, Liverpool Football manager

Being Angry

But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 2 Kings 5:11

Naaman was angry with Elisha (and with God?) because Elisha did not act the way he wanted him to. His pride was hurt. He was not given the respect that he thought he deserved. And he nearly missed out on a great blessing as a result.

Why am I not in the starting line-up? How can John be captain instead of me? Everyone knows I am a better goalkeeper than Mary but the coach keeps picking her. I am not going to stand for it!

There are many situations in sport that test our character. The ones I listed were all within the team – what about issues with officials?

There are my situations about which we could get angry but should we?

When Naaman was ready to humble himself and accept healing on the prophet’s terms, he was healed. The consequences of our humility and lack of anger are unlikely to be quite as dramatic. However, our teammates will notice. The coach will notice. And our father in heaven will notice.

Let us seek to deal with frustrations this week without anger.

PS I once heard a sermon on three reactions to the gospel: Naaman went away angry

The rich young ruler went away sad Matthew 19:22

The Ethiopian went away rejoicing. Acts 8:39



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