This letter gives us another secret to growth and change to those of us who are feeling a little bit complacent. Maybe we feel a little more bored than blessed when we connect with church … Perhaps we feel a lot more attached to this world than we’d like - (who doesn’t struggle with that?) and looking us straight in the eye Jesus says - “I want you to see your need as you never have before. Then I’d be able to meet your need as I never have before.”
John writes this way to the church in Laodicea - “To the angel of the church of Laodicea write, ‘These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds that you’re neither cold nor hot … I wish that you were one or the other … But you don’t realise you’re wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you get from me gold refined in the fire so you can become rich and white clothes to wear so you can cover your shameful nakedness salve to put on your eyes so you can see.” (Revelation 3:14 ff)
Not easy words from Jesus but they end with his remarkable promise - “Look! I am standing at the door and I’m constantly knocking. If anyone opens the door I will come in and I’ll fellowship with him; I’ll relate to him, I’ll dine with him and he’ll fellowship with me.” (Revelation 3:20 – Message)
Paul, writing to the Ephesians says - “When you get angry do not sin … ” (Ephesians 4:26) which suggests that not all anger is sin and there’s a way to get angry and not sin. There are some things that are just wrong and we should be angry about them. Anger can be an evidence of love and we can get appropriately angry because we reflect God’s image.
But there’s an anger which is not appropriate: an anger which is selfish, self-centred and uncontrolled, an anger which arises in our hurts, frustration and fears. Matthew, in his gospel encourages us to - “Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity.Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matthew 5:48)