And “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. – Ephesians 4:26-27
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” – Matthew 5:21-23 (Jesus teaching from the Sermon on the Mount)
I’m in big trouble.
Seems like I’m mad all the time. From messed up bowl games to diseases that strike out of nowhere, and so very much in between, I seem to be walking around perpetually mad. Half the time I feel like I’m wearing a target on my back. I’m grumbling to myself, chewing people out in my imagination like a Walter Mitty off his rocker.
You’ve heard all the advice before, haven’t you?
Don’t let your situation define you.
Don’t give other people the power to control the way you feel.
Move forward and leave all the misery behind you.
Other people’s opinions shouldn’t matter so much.
I’m trying to live by faith and not by sight but it sure seems hard most days.
- Suffering produces lots of good stuff. (Romans 5, James 1)
- I’m not supposed be so upset and worried but instead I ought to be praying. (Philippians 4)
- As long as I’m living here in this world, I’m going to experience tribulation (and have cause to be angry!), but I can have peace when I rest my soul in the truth of what Jesus has said, done and continues to do. (John 16)
I don’t honestly think I’m going to transform and become some docile nun who never raises his voice above a whisper when someone keeps throwing rocks at me. But what I do think is that the angry man that I have become can be saved. He can be transformed, one grumble at a time, maybe, but he’s not beyond belief. He’s still being tamed, still trying to fade away.
When all is working out for you and your ducks are all in their row, bills are paid, everyone is health, no one is mad at you, you’re not making any mistakes and all your relationships are healthy – there’s really no need for faith. Faith is what you have to pull out when the boat starts to sink, people start throwing stuff at you, you get locked in a dungeon and the grim reaper starts to peer in the window. Faith never really gets going until you’ve got nothing else to lean on. Sometimes the trials and tribulations of this terrible world are an opportunity waiting, a chance to put it all into practice, to see if it really works – this born again life of ours.