When Renee and I were walking through Clemson Downs, this sign caught my eye. I appreciated it because it got its message across but did so with some humor. Which got me thinking about signs in general, law & gospel, command and promise.
Later I thought of the proverb “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15: 1 to be exact; NRSV)
I don’t know about you, but when I am tired, not feeling well, or hungry I am not a fun person to be around. Losing my sense of humor is one of the signs I look for in monitoring my own behavior. It’s my canary in the coal mine. A couple of behaviors that I’ve learned to change over time to help in these situations are taking deep breaths, and not immediately, or sometimes even quickly, responding to upsetting emails or social media posts so that I can check my attitude first. When I don’t do this it never ends well. Then confession, repentance, and asking for forgiveness is the pathway that I must travel.
To be clear, if something is an emergency, in twenty years of pastoring I have always responded as quickly as possible. But for those areas with a little wiggle room, I truly hope to give you the best you deserve by being at my humorous best. Thank you for your extra understanding during these most unusual times.
God’s peace & hope,