I am writing this on March 1 and it is brutally cold here in the Chicago area. As the old phrase goes, if March comes in like a lion it will go out like a lamb. I am really hoping that old adage is true, because I need some relief! That got me to thinking about our lives – about my life. I certainly have some lion and some lamb attributes to my life. I wonder if you do?
There are certainly different ways to look at the lion and the lamb. But, as far as connection to the month of March, goes, I’ll refer to the lion and lamb from a temperament and personality standpoint. When I get tired, hungry and frustrated, guess what happens? I roar. Some days I’ll even warn my family – “Watch out – I’m really tired and crabby.” Come on now, I know it’s not just me! There are other days when I’m much more sacrificial, helpful and pleasant to be around. I certainly hope that there are many more lamb days then lion days in my life. However, I have had to learn over the years how to deal with my lion days. I have had to learn how to deal with anger, frustration and angst. There are 3 things that have helped me over the years that I’ll pass on in the hopes that maybe they’ll help you if needed:
- I turned and am turning my issues over to God. I actually started that process at Judson. When I re-dedicated my life to Jesus in Judson’s Chapel my foul language and deep level anger issues were taken away overnight. I’m not saying that happens for everyone. But it did happen for me. There were more levels to go, but it was a great kick start. Have you done that? Have you said – God I’m finally ready to give you this room of my house that I have had the “do not enter” sign on?
- I turned and am turning to the Scriptures. I know, I know, you’re thinking you’ve heard the “read the Bible and pray” line. Well, for me big changed happened when I started reading and memorizing Scripture. Proverbs 15:1 was one of the first verses I memorized, “a gentle answer turns away wrath.” Transformational. Seriously. Try it out. This Scripture thing really is helpful!
- I turned and am turning to an accountability partner. I needed and need to have a partner that was praying for me, challenging me and that was there for me. I firmly believe that some issues can only be remedied with the help of others. God made us as relational creatures and he wants us to be in community and to do life – the good and the bad – with our friends and family. Having one key person that you meet with regularly is critical for your spiritual growth and for becoming a lamb for God. Proverbs 27:17 drives home this point when it says, “as iron sharpens iron, so one brother sharpens another.”
That’s what worked for me and I encourage you to try these steps out for your sake and for the sake of those you do life with. It really is a great path to help move someone from being full of angst to being known as someone that is amiable.
One last note on another angle on the lion and the lamb reference. Revelation 5:5-6 is the true lion and the lamb passage in Scripture. In this passage we see that Jesus is both the conquering Lion of Judah and the Lamb who was slain for our sins. The Lion and the Lamb are descriptions of two aspects of the nature of Christ. I mention that because as Christ-followers we are to be “little Christs” and, ultimately, our goal is to be like Christ. So, while some of us are working on lion aspects of our personality, we need to stay in touch with the Lion of Judah who is the conquering king. Our ultimate goal is that we have conquered our issues through Christ’s power. How incredible it is to have a God that knows us personally and that is a servant-king!
Ok. Now back to prayer for that lamb portion of the month of March. Come on Spring!