The anger around us can be downright frightful at times and sadly, anger appears to be contagious! As I watch the news reports, I can’t help but notice how many acts are done in a fit of rage and how often a violent act comes as a result of harsh words spoken. Makes us wonder what the outcome would have been if the decision had been made to speak a gentler word instead. At the same time, I know I am also guilty of speaking from the head sometimes instead of allowing my thoughts to flow from my connection with Him.
Perhaps you can recall a recent incident where a gentle answer diffused a potentially flammable situation. Perhaps you can’t … Perhaps your most recent memory is one where anger answered anger resulting in harsh words and humbling apologies. It’s not always easy to respond kindly but we can balance our responses. The Scriptures provide guidance for dealing with anger in Ephesians 4:26-27 “Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry – but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.” (2) Anger can cause us to hurt ourselves and others. On top of that, anger that is not properly handled can give the enemy an opportunity to operate in our lives!
I am taking on the challenge of making a determined effort to speak positively and kindly, even when I am wronged. This does not mean that I will allow others to walk over me but it means that I will filter my responses through His eyes. I have no idea what kind of week lies ahead of me but God has already seen the end. He knows what I will face and He has already made provisions to walk me through the difficulties. I get to decide if I trust Him enough to let Him lead.
I don’t know what your week is going to be like. Maybe He will give you the opportunity to speak to someone kindly today or this week. Maybe as you read you can think of someone who has made it their business to speak negatively to you. I pray that God will give us the grace and strength to filter our responses through His love and to allow Him to fight our battles. Sometimes the ones who hurt us most deeply are the ones closest to our hearts.
Father, I am thankful for the instructions You give through Your words. I confess that I do not always do a good job of providing a soft answer. Please forgive me for the times I dropped the ball. Please help me to filter my responses through Your love. I don’t always know what life experiences the other person may have had – but I know You and my actions ought to reflect the Christ in me.
I pray that You will give me the correct response to deal with the attitudes, actions and words that come my way whether it be from a stranger in the street or the one that breaks bread with me. I pray the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit as I step into this workweek. I may not know who’s watching me but I pray that they will see Jesus in my response. Teach me to put self aside and to trust You knowing that “Doing what is right and fair is more important to the Lord than sacrifices.” Proverbs 21:3. (3)I purpose in my heart that this will not be lip service. Please help me to fulfill these vows to You.
(1) & (3)Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
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