We’ve all heard those who happily testify that God miraculously freed them from some situation or addiction. When we hear such reports, our hearts are filled with gladness but oftentimes we tend to think that these folks’ troubles are over or at least that their biggest battle has been won. In many cases it is not. Let me start with this example. An ex-coworker of mine struggled with alcoholism for many years until he finally decided to Join AA. Not long after that, he would constantly tell others what the program had done and how happy he was to finally be free from his addiction. It was obvious to all that he was different than before, but here’s the sad part: Other than drinking, he still kept on smoking, cussing, being a loudmouth, belittling others, and womanizing. He conquered one foe but not the biggest one, sin.
Even in cases where folks are freed from a situation or addiction and wholeheartedly turn to Christ, that is not always their biggest obstacle to hurdle. They still have to contend with the old nature within. They may still have a hard time with issues such as anger, impatience, un-forgiveness, and a few others. I know of a young man who was recently delivered from drug addiction. He was not ashamed to tell others about it. Yet, he had not conquered anger, and not long after his deliverance from drugs he got into a headed argument at home and was forced to leave. In his case too, he overcame his drug addiction but his anger got the best of him.
Anger is among the sins listed in the 5th Chapter of Galatians categorized as the “works” (acts/deeds) of the flesh. (old nature) Paul added that they which do such things (practice) will not inherit the kingdom of God. Since the old nature still lives within us, we are all capable of outbursts of anger. To be more specific, however, God’s genuine children do not practice sin but fall into it when they yield to the flesh. Even so, anger can cause great harm in the life of a Christian. One of the things anger does is hurt our testimony. (reputation) In fact, Proverbs 22:24 advises us: “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered.” One outburst alone can cause others to lose confidence in us. It becomes a bigger matter if we are involved in ministry. On the other hand Proverbs 19:11 says: “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” When others see that we can control our anger, that we are patient, that we can overlook offenses that others can’t, it greatly enhances our reputation. Let’s be honest; this is one area where almost all Christians need help. Lets make a real effort to draw closer to God, to become more like Jesus each new day. Remember this: There are very few things we can’t do, when we trust God and draw close to Him.
God’s word for today: (Proverbs 16:32) “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”