Self Indulgence or Self Control?

 

Brace yourself dear friends, because today’s theme may be a thorny issue in your life. I refer to the issue of ANGER. You may be someone who blows up at the slightest thing, or you could be someone who quietly stews over perceived offences.

Whatever is your reality, perhaps now is the season to examine your heart, to see whether this trait is disturbing your spiritual equilibrium, affecting your relationships and undermining your peace.

I’m sure you are familiar with what the Bible has to say about this subject:

“Be angry and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.

Ephesians 4:26-27

 

However, has familiarity with this command, bred compliance or contempt?

Now, whilst it is human nature to become angry at times, to even express our anger, we are warned against allowing it to remain in our heart, so that it festers and becomes a contaminating feature—both to the person harbouring it and to those around them.

So, for all those who desire to walk as a victorious overcomer, the question we should be asking ourselves is: Am I in control of my anger, or does anger with its diabolical accomplices, habitually control me?

It’s easy to think that because you’re not hitting out at anyone, or planning anyone’s demise that the anger we often nurse in our hearts, is harmless. However, God’s Word clearly indicates otherwise.

The writer of Hebrews warns us against a root of bitterness and its ability to spring up, cause trouble and defile many (Hebrews 12:15). And the apostle Paul advises us to:

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31-32

 

Now suppose God were to ask us to complete a questionnaire on how compliant we are to the above verses, I wonder how we would rate ourselves – with 5 being fully compliant and 1 indicating blatant disobedience!

Whether or not we dare to honestly assess and score ourselves, God knows our hearts and knows whether having been weighed in his balances, we are found wanting.

Returning now to the above text in Ephesians 4:26, my understanding of this is that it’s okay to be angry but there is a point beyond which our anger becomes sinful.

What is that point? It is when we allow our angry thoughts and feelings to last beyond sunset. Have you ever gone to bed with anger in your heart? Let me be honest here, I have!

Now we are fortunate that our episodes of anger are shielded from the public gaze. Not so for the likes of Donald Trump.  As someone who holds the highest office in the land, Trump is able to hire and fire at the drop of a hat. And don’t we know it? Last year, it seems to me that practically every month we heard about someone being fired from the White House administration.

Anger, or lack of self-control, is not always expressed through physical violence. It can be demonstrated by harsh words, sarcasm, tantrums, withering or subtle put-downs, even silence.

Dear friends, whether displayed publicly or privately, or carefully suppressed within our hearts, uncontrolled or seething anger reveals a weakness of character. Outbursts of wrath is named amongst the works of the flesh, whilst self-control is a fruit of the spirit.

As victorious overcomers, our goal is to glorify our Father-God, not just with our lips but also with our lifestyle. Our aim should be to model Christ-like behaviour, to behave like dear children, imitating our Father-God by showing forgiveness and mercy.

It’s a matter of choice. It’s a matter of obedience. It’s a matter of dying to self.

Easier said than done? Yes.

Impossible to do? No!

As the Bible assures us, we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.

I close with the following quotes:

 

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

(Baptist Beacon)

 

Anger is one letter short of danger.      

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

 

He who angers you conquers you.

Elizabeth Kenny

 

Anger can be likened to conducting an archaeological dig, searching for ancient hurts, buried offences, and relics of past resentment.

Carol Hind (aka Lady Cee)

 

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This Week’s Prayer Focus:

For ourselves and for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that we will value our relationship with God, with our family members, work colleagues and neighbours, above our grievances.

And don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!

 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father,

I want to thank you for your unconditional love, your everlasting kindness and your unfailing mercies. Your Word reminds me that you are gracious and slow to anger… that you do not deal with us according to our sins, or punish us according to our iniquities.

Father God, I confess my sin of anger today. I ask you to forgive me for my short-sightedness. Forgive me for the times when I’ve acted exactly like the man in Christ’s parable of the unforgiving servant.

As I confess my sin today, I thank you for your promise to forgive my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.  

Father God, I now bring before you all those amongst my followers and visitors who desire to walk in obedience to your Word. I commit into your hands all those who desire to walk as victorious overcomers. May we honestly examine our lives to see whether we measure up to your required standards.

Grant us the grace to humble ourselves and fully relinquish any angry thoughts, hurts and memories which reinforce a cycle of anger and bitterness within our hearts. Help us to resist the goading voice of the Enemy and to dismiss negative internal dialogues regarding those who have offended us.

Holy Spirit, comfort and administer your healing balm to our souls. Enable us to exercise self-control and strengthen our resolve to walk in obedience to God’s Word, to walk on that highway of holiness.

We ask today in faith, believing you have heard our prayers and will grant our request. And we ask in the matchless name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

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Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each fortnight, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, you can construct your own prayer and share with others by linking to this post. Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to participate.

 

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Women of Warfare followers and readers have a blessed and victorious week!

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