Angela from Meetingintheclouds.wordpress.com had this to say in response to one of the posts in this series. “When I became a Christian my life changed COMPLETELY – (thankfully!)
_I_ didn’t change. I had no part in it. HE changed me: His life IN me changed me.”
She brings out a powerful truth about life with her comment. We can all acknowledge the need to change certain things about our lives. But without Jesus actively working in our lives, lasting change is not possible. In the end what I will achieve in this life will be a reflection of His work in me not an evaluation of my work (Eph. 2:10). In short, I achieve more when I trust than when I strive.
That said Paul gives us benchmarks to trust for in Ephesians chapter 4.
“don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil….. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:26,27,29-32 NLT
Paul encourages us to stop letting anger control our lives. Specifically he lets us know that God would have us: stop swearing, stop being hard or cruel in our dealings, and stop complaining about people behind their backs even if what we have to say is true! Instead we are to pray for the spirit of love, joy and kindness to reign over us.
I am always amazed at how practical God can get with our lives. Christianity is not some nebulous philosophy that leaves people doing whatever seems good to them. It’s a relationship with a Father who runs His household after a fashion He has established. He wants His world to be a certain way. He wants His people to live in harmony with that way even though it is not the current “way of the world”.
With the whole world stacked against us, living Christian is not only difficult it’s impossible; That’s why Christ died. His death not only purchases us forgiveness but releases into us a new life that overcomes the world. John 16:33
Going back to the anger thing, we live in an angry society that is constantly pushing us to react in rage. Our only ability to hold peace comes from the fact that Jesus in us calms the storm when we turn our attentions away from this exacerbating world and look to Him who has overcome it.
Have you overcome anger? How did Jesus help you?