Monday, January 2, 2017

Getting Rid of Anger

Ephesians 4:26-32

26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.      NIV Bible Gateway.com

    The apostle Paul wrote extensively about the character and conduct of believers. He said that as Christians, we are to "walk in a manner worthy of [our] calling" (Eph. 4:1) and to "be imitators of God" (Eph. 5:1). In his letter to the church at Ephesus, he explained what it meant to live a godly life.
   First of all, we must curtail some of our old habits and behaviors and replace them with new ones that are acceptable to God. The acts of the flesh are no longer to be a part of us - we now have a new nature and must conduct ourselves accordingly. Galatians 5:19-21 lists 15 specific behaviors that have to cease. These include enmities, strife, outbursts of anger, disputes, and dissensions. Notice the role anger plays in each of these. It fuels disagreements and inflames antagonism. And second, if we get angry, we need to apologize quickly (Eph. 4:26).
   The fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) should replace ungodly thoughts and actions. If we have been quick-tempered, then we need to gain patience. If our anger runs hot, then we are to become peaceful people. Foolishness in speech must give way to the wisdom of Christ. Change is possible because sin's power over us has been permanently broken. We have been set free to live in a way pleasing to God.
   We all struggle with some form of ungodly behavior, but happily, we need not continue in it. As new creations, we no longer have to be defined by who we were before salvation (2 Cor. 5:17). To exhibit the righteousness that is yours, cooperate with the Holy Spirit's transforming work. 
Stanley, Charles F. "Getting Rid of Anger." In Touch: Daily Readings For Devoted Living September 2016. Atlanta: In Touch Ministries. page 18.

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