Bible Verses: “Refrain from anger and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.” Psalm 37:8
Bible Reading: Proverbs 29:22; Ephesians 4:26; James 1:19-20
This is obvious, right? How can you be angry and still be at peace?
Yes, I am aware that Jesus did get angry. He was able to have righteous anger and not sin, but I’m not far enough in my journey yet to be able to find that balance. I doubt any of you would feel you’ve arrived either, as this area of anger is a work in progress (especially for those who watch or play sports!). So, until we can have righteous anger and peace working perfectly together, we must guard ourselves from an anger that takes root in our lives and causes us to sin (Ephesians 4:26).
Our verses today clearly show that nothing good comes from this kind of anger. Evil and transgressions don’t sound like the right kinds of outcomes we would want for our lives and sound opposite to what God’s peace does for us.
So, what can we do?
Here are two quick things that may take a long time to complete:
Firstly, anger and frustration lose their grip on us when we find a way to forgive (Colossians 3:13). Sometimes, the root cause of our anger comes from being wronged by someone. The longer we hold on to that offence, the longer anger has a hold on us. Who do you need to forgive? If you’re not sure, let me ask you a couple questions. Who are you frustrated with? Who do you feel annoyed by? Take some time to ask God if you need to forgive them. In my experience, these feelings are often connected to something deeper. It’s an important process to go through because you don’t want to give the enemy a foothold in your life through unresolved anger and frustration.
Secondly, try praying for those you are angry with. Not the “God, get them!” kind of prayers, but sincere ones. When I can pray for those who caused my anger and frustration, I am heading in the right direction because God’s grace is being revealed in my life. Prayer is an expression of care and compassion, and I know that’s what God wants from me. In my experience, I can’t be truly mad at someone who I have sincerely brought to the Lord in prayer. Is this easy? You already know the answer to that. But is it a good step towards forgiveness, peace, and maturity? You already know the answer to that, too.
Reflection: Who do you need to forgive? Who do you need to ask for forgiveness? Who’s not on your prayer list that needs to be?
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for the forgiveness, grace and mercy You have extended towards me. You know how difficult it is to be patient and peaceful. If there are people I need to forgive or ask for forgiveness, reveal them to me and give me the courage to follow through. I need Your wisdom and strength to guide me through this process.
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