31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. - Ephesians 4:31-32
God makes no exception here to letting go of our negative feelings - He says Let ALL bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you. ALL means ALL. We have a tendency to try to defend or justify some of our negative feelings because of what the other person has done, but God leaves no room for excuses. It all needs to be put away.
Some will try to argue for righteous anger, as if we have a right to be angry because someone offended or hurt us. Or they will say our anger is justified because the other person was clearly biblically wrong. But digging deeper into scripture reveals this isn’t the case at all. Just a few short verses earlier, we are told: 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,27 and give no opportunity to the devil. - Ephesians 4:26-27. Clearly, we are not to sin in our anger, and we are not to hold on to our anger. Brief, momentary anger at being wronged isn’t necessarily sin, but we are instructed to let it go quickly. In those brief moments we do experience anger, we are not to sin - for example, we are not to use harsh words or slander another person. Then we are to let it go.
Righteous anger is the justified kind of anger that motivates you to do the work of the kingdom - this is the kind of anger you feel at discovering child exploitation or injustices launched at people in poverty. When you see those kind of wrongs in our world, the anger it wells up inside of you should motivate you to make a change, to contribute to fixing the problem. It’s not the same kind of anger we feel when our spouse is having a grumpy day and takes it out on us. That’s not a huge injustice - that’s a moment we should be stretching ourselves to be more loving.
Yesterday, I mentioned the fact that we cannot accomplish this list in our own power. We need to allow God’s Spirit to move in us in order to overcome the list of sin issues in these verses, but at the same time, we have an active role to play in changing our behavior. We have to make the conscious choice to own our behavior and ask for forgiveness when we have failed - not only vertically, but horizontally as well. If we are caught in the same angry hurt cycle with a difficult someone in our lives, we need to stop looking at what they’re doing, and begin to take ownership of our own sinful angry response if we hope to see any change.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
Popular posts from this blog
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:25-26 What believer would not want to experience the kind deep devotion to God found in these verses? This kind of loyal commitment is the desire of every person of faith....yet it eludes so many of us. If you've been a believer for long, you know there are times it does not come easy. There is a great price involved in reaching the kind of faith found in these verses. This level of commitment is only achieved through fierce struggle. The battle between Spirit and flesh is constant, but it is in the battle that we are strengthened when we choose to lean in and trust God, to turn to Him for our strength in the battle, and to keep our eyes fixed on Him despite what the world throws at us. Asaph wrote these words only after a difficult and confusing crisis of faith. He was tempted to com
I am a believer in Christ, and I have breast cancer. On August 17, 2017, I was diagnosed with an aggressive (HER2+), recurrent (hormone negative) type of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. At this point, they have not yet staged my cancer because they are waiting for the biopsy results from a suspicious spot in the second breast. The biopsy is scheduled for September 5th, with a lumpectomy to follow on September 7th. They will formally stage my cancer after they biopsy my lymph nodes, which will be taken during the surgery. It doesn't make any sense to me that I have a cancer diagnosis - I am a fairly healthy woman who runs 2 miles almost every day and eats a gluten-free, primarily paleo diet, with no family history at all. But it makes sense to God, and so here I am. Update ~ They found 4 isolated invasions during the lumpectomy. Due to the nature of my cancer (HER2+ and ER-), the recommended protocol is chemotherapy and radiation. Beginning in October, my chemotherapy regime
When we launched our new blog we had no idea if anyone would see it or be helped by it, but we knew that the LORD was prompting us to step out in faith and just do it. The response has been amazing and we are looking forward to how God will use this space for His glory. We have learned over many years of service in a variety of ministries, that God does not require human assistance to realize His plans for individuals, churches, nations, or the human race. But the story of the bible is the story of God’s will playing out through the words and actions of the His children. So…we pray, meditate on his Word, and write from the heart about the truths that mold our faith, guide our actions, and inspire our hearts and minds. Please visit the site and subscribe to continue receiving posts. https://graceinmarriage.com/ It is our sincere hope that you are blessed by our work here and welcome your input on how we can make Grace in Marriage even better. Thank you for your support.