“Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually. They make their tongue sharp as a serpent’s and under their lips is the venom of asps.” Psalm 140:1-3
“The venom of asps is under their lips.” Romans 3:13
Over the course of doing lay ministry work, there are two things guys seem to primarily struggle with… and the other is anger (guess the first one?). In reading this text from Psalm 140 today, I was struck by a thought I’ve had recently about anger and aggression (something I’m tempted to frequently and must be on the look out for): how 1) anger so often stems from fear and anxiety, which stems from a lack of trust in God’s loving promises, but also 2) how that animal-like response of rage that some are more prone to than others can be stoked into flame by taking in violence, its exaltation and letting it dwell there. And our culture is full of it. We are welcoming violence into our hearts and it is shaping us. Even if we’re not taking in violent content and images, just go read some social media comment threads. It’s enough for me sometimes.