There is a lot going on in my life right now - some good, some not so good. All three of my children are busy with school activities that are being squeezed into a period of two weeks. So that means we are balancing after school musical rehearsals, before school rehearsals, honors band and chorus rehearsals, and five performances between now and next Saturday. Our regular, everyday schedule is fitting into all this as well. And my husband and I are having to deal with some annoying stuff that is somewhat stressful and would be really easy to get angry about. In fact, as I was praying through my feelings this morning, I felt myself getting angry over this situation. I also felt God wanting me to give that anger over to Him because this situation is really not something I can control anyway and anger wasn't going to help. Of course, when I began preparing to write this post I noticed that the verses I had planned for today talked about getting things like anger out of our lives. So, with that in mind, please read Colossians 3:7-11.
These verses list so many things that no longer belong in a person who is following Christ and has received forgiveness through Him. The list is: anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, dirty language, and lying. Don't you find it interesting that Paul listed anger first? As I looked at this list, it occurred to me that everything else on the list (except lying) can be the result of anger. The anger can grow into rage, which can produce malicious behavior. Anger may make us want to slander someone or use dirty language. It is really easy to allow anger to get out of control and take us to places we really don't need to or want to go.
In the verses I looked at yesterday, it mentioned God's anger. Is there a contradiction that God can be angry when we are told to get rid of anger? No. There is a difference. James wrote about it in James 1:19-20 (NLT), "Understand this my dear brothers and sisters: You should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." Notice the first two words of the last sentence..."Human anger..." The Bible makes a difference between human anger and God's anger. Often times, we want to justify our anger and say that we have "righteous anger," but is that really true? Are we angry because we perceive that we have been hurt, wronged, or unfairly treated? If so, then we need to admit that is probably human anger. When we have been hurt, we are going to feel angry, but we need to get rid of it because it is only going to corrupt our hearts as we hang on to it. How do we do that?
I believe that both James and Colossians give us a prescription that we can use. James 1:21 (NLT) says, "So get rid of the filth and evil in your lives and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls." This is a change of focus because instead of focusing on the thing that has us angry, we can focus on the truth of God's Word. Colossians explains it in a way of putting on our new nature and to be renewed as we become more like Christ. Paul continues to explain that it doesn't matter who we are or where we have come from because Christ is all that matters and He lives in us. This new life in Christ is to be our focus. When our focus is the truth that Christ is all that matters, then we can learn to give our hurt and anger over to Him.
Does the truth that Christ is all that matters change how you react?
This post is linked with iFellowship Blog Hop, Word Filled Wednesday, and Winsome Wednesday.