Tennessee just received a dishonorable distinction….it was found to be the “angriest state in the country.”
This announcement came as a result of a recent study which looked at crime statistics, instances of elder abuse and the number of registered hate groups in all fifty states. In this instance, being #1 wasn’t a good thing.
How do you combat this sort of thing? What’s the opposite of anger?
As Christians, I think it should be “honor.”
What does it mean to be honorable? I’ll suggest three strategies.
Preparation. Participation. Politeness.
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21
Preparation: People of honor seek the truth. They are life-long learners and are constantly reading, reflecting on what they’ve discovered and testing their ideas on others. Honorable people constantly prepare.
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12:9-13
Participation: By participation, I am suggesting that we must engage with others. Honorable people value relationships. They seek to interact with others and share their ideas. They also learn about the values and beliefs of others. Relationships are paramount above all else.
Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. Hebrews 13:18
Politeness: I’m not talking about being meek, timid or retreating. I’m talking about respect. People of honor respect others, even if their values and beliefs are different.
This week my prayer is to become less “angry” and more “honorable.” And maybe- just maybe- Tennessee can become a little less angry…one person and one action at a time.
And please let me know how I may pray for you.