Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Rooting out anger

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Ecclesiastes 7:1-8:1

 TO CHEW ON: "Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry,
For anger rests in the bosom of fools." Ecclesiastes 7:9

I will never be one of those people of whom their kids can say, 'Mom never said an angry word.' Because I've been known to lose it.

The battle with anger is probably harder for some people than others. But no matter how unnatural it feels to stay even-tempered, the Bible makes it clear that anger is seldom a good thing.

- It leads to evil (Psalm 37:8).
- It leads to unwise decisions and actions (Proverbs 14:17).
- It is in our control (Proverbs 16:32).
- Patience and overlooking another person's wrongs are a better response (Proverbs 19:11).
- It sets us up for judgment (Matthew 5:22).
- It is on the list of carnal qualities to "put off" along with malice, blasphemy, and filthy language (Colossians 3:8).
- It disqualifies us for positions of leadership (Titus 1:7).
- It is not conducive to a righteous life: "God's righteousness does not grow from human anger" - Message (James 1:19-20).

Anger begins in the thought life and is often a symptom of other problems: unmet expectations, impatience, hurt pride, selfishness, self-centredness. You can probably think of more.

Discovering the root of one's anger is an important insight. Those of us with an anger problem can ask for God's help to determine what is triggering those bouts of temper. Only as we attack anger's root will we finally overcome this foolish and impulsive response to people and circumstances.

PRAYER: Dear God, please give me insights into the anger that still lurks in my heart and explodes at the most inopportune times. Amen.

MORE: Circumstances and my thoughts
"...circumstances do not make men; it is their reaction to circumstances that determines what kind of men they will be...

...The mental stuff of the Christian can be and should be modified and conditioned by the Spirit of Christ which indwells his nature. God wills that we think His thoughts after Him. The Spirit-filled, prayerful Christian actually possesses the mind of Christ, so that his reactions to the external world are the same as Christ's. He thinks about people and things just as Christ does. All life becomes to him the raw nectar which the Spirit within him turns into the honey of paradise.

Yet this is not automatic. To do His gracious work God must have the intelligent cooperation of His people. If we would think God's thoughts we must learn to think continually of God. 'God thinks continuously of each one of us as if He had no one but ourselves,' said Francois Malaval; 'it is therefore no more than just if we think continuously of Him as if we had no one but Himself.'

We must think of the surrounding world of people and things against the background of our thoughts of God..." — A. W. Tozer, "The Sanctification of Our Minds" from That Incredible Christian.

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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