Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fighting Anger

Ephesians 4.25-32

25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not make room for the devil. 28 Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Speak words of Grace. These words of Paul found in Ephesian speak to me as a writer. Being a writer in the Kingdom has been my call. How to write words of love and Christ in a world bent on anger and violence. Of course anger comes with being human, as Paul notes. What Paul gets at in his riff on anger is that dwelling in anger will create in us a space for the devil and violence to enter. Paul sees anger that extends past the night’s sleep as toxic and the bombings, murders wars and the rest of the day’s news seem to witness to the truth of Paul’s words. Yet, how do we exit from the land of anger?

We are living in a time where material comforts are most widely available, and yet anger seems to increase daily. Politicians use anger to climb the polls. How do we speak words of peace into the endemic rage that has settled into the hearts of humans everywhere. How do we get out of the Kingdom of Wrath and find our place in the Kingdom of God? I remember being a angry young man. My father had abandon my family before I entered into Kindergarten. I direct the anger toward myself and not being good enough to love. And as I continued to live into this anger, the world enclosed into a certain type of Hell. Then, in the coming of the Lord Jesus into my life I learn the secret of exiting my anger and entering into the Kingdom of God.

I called my father after not hearing from him for over 30 years. I place myself onto the cross of forgiveness and then a miracle happened. I return to life. Forgiveness of sins became my ticket out of hell. The rule of Paul’s is a gift. It is the prison break we all need. Jesus forgives us and then grants us the gift to extend forgiveness to those that hurt us. When we reconcile, we reconcile to God and we move a step closer to being the people of God.

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