BE YE ANGRY, AND SIN NOT.
Problem neighbours. Ever had them? Pain in the neck. Don't get me wrong, this ain't the old 'noisy' or 'nuisance' thing. No, this is personal - it's me they've got it in for. I was wicked enough to tell them to their faces that I objected to drunken abuse and wilful damage to my property. Then Evil of evils - I told the police. That really escalated the hatred. The latest barrage of verbal abuse came after I asked the younger boy if he could stop kicking his football against the front of my house very close to windows. This was no harmless bouncing by the way, we are talking full force penalty kicks. He did this on two occasions. The first time he did it he could clearly see me looking out of the window at him while he did it, but this made no difference, he was even jumping over my wall into the garden to retrieve the ball. I was initially shocked by his behaviour. It looked to me as if he was deliberately trying to provoke me.
Now I'm sure most people would object to anyone doing this, but when it's a member of a family with a grudge, then it takes a whole different perspective. Anyway, I was looking out at him wondering what the best course of action would be, but as I considered my options he stopped and went into his house. So I was content enough to leave it there, but it did make me feel uneasy as I had already had major trouble with his older brother. Was this now the younger one deciding to join in? Sadly, it looks very much like it. My concern is what he might do if he takes after his brother whom alcohol turns into a raging moron.
The second time he did it, just a few days later - exactly the same rigmarole as before - it was enough to really annoy me and I went outside and challenged him. I asked him if he could stop kicking the ball at the front of my house as it was rather close to the windows. What I got in response could only be described as cheek. He stalked off muttering as he went. I walked after him saying "hey wait a minute I want to talk to you for a few seconds." He ignored me and carried on. Then his mother appeared and started to hurl accusations at me. Accusing me of causing her trouble and so on. Well I have to say that to me it sounded pretty rich, considering that I am convinced that her son slashed all four of my car tires just because I complained to him about the fact that he had deliberately broken the window of my van in a drunken rage. Something he has never denied and is currently paying me compensation for through the court in dribs and drabs.
It was difficult for me to keep a cool head while she spoke. Especially when I reminded her of her son having slashed my tyres. Her response was to tell me that it had been "proved" that he had not done it. As if the cops being unable to nail him is proof of innocence. That's when I lost my cool and raised my voice. I felt I had to go back over afterwards and apologize to her for that. But the latest one was one of her daughters shouting over at me earlier this evening words to the effect of: "Hey you, don't you have a go at my mother again..."
Again, it was hard to keep a cool head. I didn't. These days perhaps it's less easy with one thing and another. I had to endure her verbal abuse and lies flung in my face.
God's word tells us: "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath." (Ephesians 4: 26).
Yep, I get angry all right. I have to admit, stupid people do sometimes make me angry. But if the Lord is with me I can get angry (the Lord knows I don't want to) and still be his.
God's word also tells us: "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." (Hebrews 12: 6). So if we belong to God he will send us trouble. He does this in love - it is good for us and necessary. We must rejoice in it and be thankful.
"...we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5: 3-5).