Passion Governed by Wisdom

     We're all aware that we are living at a time when passions enliven conversations which can easily transition into incivility, unkindness, and downright confrontational conflict.  We all know we have passions about, for example, what the Lord places on our hearts, pursuing lifelong interests, parenting, professions, goals etc.  Yet, when encountering injustice or mistreatment, this definition of passion can come into play: "a strong and barely controllable emotion.”  
     I easily identify with this definition since it is challenging to control emotion while simultaneously believing in something I view as important. And as a parent, I have marched into situations as a "Mama Bear" where I was defending my children. Now in my seventh decade of life, I remain an activist with strong opinions. I have grown to appreciate and embrace as best I can that my passions must be governed by wisdom. Wisdom requires self-control. And I cannot access self-control unless I ask for the power of the Holy Spirit.  
     The bible gives signposts, warnings, and promises: 
• Proverbs 29:11 “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”  Wise people will aim toward calm while simultaneously expressing passion about what or who they value.
• Proverbs 3:13 “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.”  It’s good to be reminded that blessings come when we find wisdom.
• James 1:19-20 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”  This verse is also instructive.  Take note especially of these words HUMAN ANGER. Human anger will lead to name calling, abusive conversation, and yes, fights, murders, and wars.  

     Another kind of anger is RIGHTEOUS ANGER. Its definition is “a reactive emotion of anger over mistreatment, insult, or malice of another.” It rests on divine or moral law where anger rises up during unjust, mean, or unworthy situations.  Our best example for righteous anger- also called indignation- is Jesus Himself.    
     This story is told in all four gospels. Matthew 21:12-13 “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” He said to them,“ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” Scripture went on to say in John 2:13-16, “And making a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And He poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And He told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade."  It was clear that Jesus was defending His Father in heaven and was angry that the house of prayer had been overtaken by buying, selling, and commerce. The Temple’s purpose had been subverted from holy into profane. Religious leaders of the day had allowed the Temple to become a place of greed rather than glorifying God.   
     Might I add that Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi displayed righteous anger-in civil and gentle ways- for just causes where others had suffered mistreatment but they displayed passion governed by wisdom! I found a quote by St. Thomas Aquinas, (1225-1274) who was a venerated theologian, jurist, and Italian Dominican Friar. Here’s his viewpoint articulated in his Summa Theologiae: “He that is angry without cause, shall be in danger; but he that is angry with cause, shall not be in danger: for without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable, crimes unchecked.” His conclusion was that “to be angry is therefore not always evil.” 

     In summation, “Be angry but do not sin.” Ephesians 4:26

True Feminism: The Third Choice

My article published by Concerned Women for America on
April 13, 2018 
     Reading articles or listening to debates about abortion, I’m always left wondering, “Why isn’t adoption front and center in the national conversation?” Adding adoption as The Third Choice to the stunted “two-choice solution”-abortion or “keeping my baby”-holds promise for many thousands of women and couples. Together, unexpectedly pregnant and childless women can forge a new outlook on adoption. 
    Can cultural prevailing winds lift up adoption, The Third Choice? In the past few decades, our culture has shifted regarding unmarried pregnant women. In my generation as a Baby Boomer in the south, young women left town under some pretense and returned some months later “having lived with an Aunt” or they “ran off and got married” at the first inkling of a pregnancy hoping no one was counting the months. For this discussion, I simply want to address our current cultural realities and offer The Third Choice to save the lives of the pre-born baby.  

The loosening of shame in our culture has created a new environment where single pregnancy is most often acceptable. What is unacceptable is overlooking and not emphasizing the adoption option for unwanted pregnancies. It is tragic that too many birth mothers have been propagandized into thinking that the baby in their womb is not a baby but only a conglomeration of irrelevant tissue. Without presenting adoption as alternative choice, pregnant women more often than not live a life of regret and guilt. 
     The emergence of ultra-sound science is proving that a pre-born human is indeed beginning life in the womb. While science is serving women with a needed reality check to pierce the propaganda, many women who chose abortion pre-Ultra Sound technology face painful regrets that haunt them for a lifetime. The pro-abortion propaganda which has seeped into our culture has also robbed infertile couples of the joy of parenting. 
     The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 7.4 million women have difficulty getting and staying pregnant. And a 2008 American Community Survey estimated that 1.6 million children are adopted. Statistics indicate that childlessness is increasing. While abortion rates are decreasing, and pro-life legislation and tax breaks are increasing, “unwanted” babies are still erased from the population rolls leaving too many couples with empty arms and less possibilities to parent.        
     Here are two suggestions. Adoption is an option that must be rehabilitated. The adoption process is impaled in a bureaucracy that is complicated and expensive. Adoption must be elevated in our culture. Part of the process includes changing the national conversation to lift up birth mothers as heroes who-instead of sacrificing the child in their womb-choose to sacrifice 9 months of their lives to fill the arms of childless couples. 
     This is the essence of TRUE FEMINISM; a birth mother making The Third Choice to fill the empty arms of an infertile woman. I am one of the childless women blessed by two brave heroes. They are called birth mothers.  #TheThirdChoice

TRANSFORMATION-Singing While Shackled

If we want to glean encouragement from a transformative moment, Acts 16: 23-37 is the place to go. Paul and Silas are highlighted as exam...