The sage continues for Jason and Miranda.  Jason bursts in on Miranda (thinking that he’d convince her that his view was the correct one.  he finds that she’s packing and realizes what this means so he prays out loud, stating how he loves his wife and wants this to work out an only God can open the way for him.

Miranda goes on the defensive and states that she’s hurt and feeling betrayed and lied to.  She also calls out Jason for manipulating her with that Bible stuff.  He cuts the BS and settles on the bed, asking her if they can talk things over without yelling at each other (for my part that would depend on how late it was.  I get cranky when I’m tired.)  He pours out his feelings to her – how he realizes that he’s messed up and he feels like he’s let her down and run away from his responsibilities.

We were invited to use Matthew 18:15-17 to resolve conflicts.  I’ve never tried that personally but it seems to me that it might work (Well, that was probably why it was in there.  Jesus was pretty smart.)  Conflict resolution is something i’m new at, actually.  My usual reaction to someone making me angry is to hold it all inside and then blow up when it gets too much.

We were also invited to use the Wesleyan Quadrilateral (Scripture, Tradition, Reason, Experience) to decide if maybe, just this once we should let the sun set on our anger.  Scripture… “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated. Proverbs 14:17 (KJV)”  So you might deal foolishly if you’re angry.  That makes sense, I know I make poor choices when I’m angry.  Traditionally, I go to bed early.  If dealing with this right here and now is going to keep me up until one in the morning, it might be better for me to get some shut-eye.  Reason: there are studies that show how bad people think and how much more inclined they are to argue about little things that really aren’t the topic at hand (does it really matter in the long run how you squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube?).  Experience: Personal experience tells me my brains down at eight o’clock at night.  Working without a net (so to speak) is not the time you want to climb the high-wire and lay it all on the line.

It seems as though Jason and Miranda are making some steps in the right direction.  How might Jason show he is sincere about the things he has said?  What can Miranda do to work through the feelings of anger she is having toward Jason?

It’s good that Jason has acknowledged both Miranda’s feelings and her right to them. He might also ask Miranda what she thinks he could do.   Since she feels that he is not listening to her and he’s being selfish, showing that he is willing to follow her advice might help with that.

Miranda should take a moment to pray about her anger. She has every right to feel hurt and betrayed. If she wants the relationship to work, she needs to take a moment and calm down – close her eyes and focus on her breathing for a moment. She’s told him how she feels and what her needs are (she’s feeling hurt and betrayed and feels like their relationship is one sided) and that’s an important step in the right direction. She also needs to hear his side of things, as he truly needs to hear hers. Only by working together and coming together can they get through this as a couple.

 Matthew 21:12 gives us an example of righteous indignation.  Would you classify the anger Jason and Miranda are experiencing as Righteous Indignation?  Explain.

In Matthew 21:12 is the part in Matthew where Jesus cleanses the temple. The moneychangers and sellers at the booths are making God’s temple into a place where people get swindled, as Jesus calls it “a robber’s den.” He’s angry with them because they are sinning and drawing others to sin as well by their very presence, which is why they are driven out.

Jason is not experiencing righteous indignation. He’s angry and feels like he’s been treated unfairly. He let his temper lead him into doing something foolish. No one has sinned or been drawn to it by the actions of his managers. Miranda, while she has every right to feel the way she does, is justifiably upset, not righteously indignant.

On a more personal note, I had a chance to practice what we’ve been learning about this week.  I drove our carpool to work on Friday and one of the ladies has been criticizing my driving (indirectly, she told another member of the carpool that she was concerned and asked if she should perhaps offer to drive my car up on days when it’s my turn).  I told her, you can sit beside me when I drive up and tell me what you think I’m doing wrong.

I’ve been driving for twenty years but I’m not too old to increase my skills.  She chattered the whole way up, giving advice and being actually rather patronizing.  I didn’t even get frustrated with her.  I just listened to the instructions, smoothed out how I took corners or changed lanes and maybe now she won’t complain so much when I drive.  Conflict resolution… don’t get mad, listen to criticism and don’t take it personally.  It was a learning experience and I’m guardedly optimistic.  My sister got some practice in too.  She counted to ten and focused on her breathing instead of getting angry.  Altogether, I think my anger issues are much improved for this Bible study experience.