I’ve been reading God’s Word in the book of Ephesians and several verses have stood out to me in the last week. In chapter 4, here are some of God’s “do not’s” verse 24: “Don’t sin by letting your anger control you.”
As a mother, I tried really hard to help my kids do something else with their anger and not direct it against me or their siblings. Unfortunately, there is a lot of anger in the world today and people use violence on others to relieve their anger. This is why our prisons are full and our court system cannot give criminals a speedy trial. Notice God does not say that we should not be angry. Even Jesus was angry when he saw that people in the temple were taking advantage of the Jews in the temple by selling animals for sacrifice, probably overpriced animals and not perfect ones required by God for the sacrifice. We all get angry sometimes. We just need to temper our reaction and not sin when we get angry and take it out on others. We should stop and think first. What should our response be to the situation? My answer is always: PRAY.
In verse 29: “Don’t use foul or abusive language.” Unfortunately, a couple of my kids have taken up the world’s use of using bad language as teens, parroting their friends. I just keep telling them that their sentences sound so much better without those words. And without them they sound more educated and refined. But unfortunately, they don’t seem to care. They get a glare from me when I hear it which usually prevents it in my presence. And I just ask them to respect me enough not to say them around me.
In verse 30: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” And from chapter 5, verse 3: “Let there be no sexual immorality or greed, obscene stories, foolish talk or coarse jokes, these are not for you.” I have never cared for some of the movies that my kids and husband like. The ones with some famous male stars in them that may not be rated R but still have coarse jokes in them. And I usually read a book while they watch war movies since I don’t like the shooting, blood and gore, Nor do we watch anything rated R or most sitcoms because of the sexual content.
So I think with the Holy Spirit in us, we dislike things that the Lord would also reject. I cringe when I hear people use foul language. I check myself before I take my anger out on people, maybe I throw soft things sometimes though. And I always say nice things about people since that is what God would want me to do. It’s like having the two angels on your shoulder all the time; you have to choose which one you will listen to.
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I leave you with Paul’s wish for the Philippians, and my wish for you: “May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation, the right righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ, for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” Phil. 1:11