What Makes You Mad?

Esther 3:5 (ESV) – And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage to him, Haman was filled with fury.

Have you ever been mad? Really mad? I have. Unfortunately, I think back to my actions as a father, 30 years ago. What made me mad? One of my children didn’t do what I wanted them to do. They didn’t fulfill my expectations. As a result, I lost it. I was mad. I learned so much about myself through that experience, and those like it. 

In the book of Esther, Mordecai followed God. He served a pagan king but worshiped only God. Mordecai was an older cousin of Esther and had raised her. She became the queen to the king Mordecai served.

Another character from the book of Esther is Haman. He also served the king, pretty much as the king’s right-hand man. He was a man of power and privilege. He expected others to recognize him and honor him.

Haman wanted everyone to bow and pay homage to him. Mordecai would only do that for God. That didn’t sit well with Haman. The result? “Haman was filled with fury.”

When I think about my own issues, not only 30 years ago, but over the years, I realize that my anger toward others generally happens when others don’t meet my expectations. My expectations are correct, after all… aren’t they?

Perhaps not. Perhaps, like Haman, I have expectations that are more about me, and not about others. Certainly, regardless, I am challenged to always respond with love, not anger. As I reflect on life, there are very few occasions that should ever make me mad at others. 

The rest of the story? Haman never really dealt with his shortcomings and eventually was killed by the king. This story challenges me to confront my own anger issues in a way that pleases God.

Prayer: Lord God, please forgive me for having inappropriate expectations of others, to include my family, my friends, and even those I don’t know well. Instead, may I submit myself, my thoughts, and my expectations to You.

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