Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Anger has become a public epidemic in America. You see the signs of our nation’s irritability everywhere you go. Think about the polarization of our political system, the everyday nastiness of the online world, the workplace or school shootings. It’s so bad that we are afraid to lock eyes with anyone in fear they might lose their cool and pull out a gun. It is an angry world that we are living in.
When we don’t control our anger, we sure don’t seem much like Jesus.
One pastor said we act like a skunk; we spray our stinking temper on anyone who gets in our way. Some of us use anger to motivate people to action. You yell at your kids to motivate their behavior. You yell at a salesclerk to motivate her to help you. You yell at your employees to make them work harder. And it works! At least in the short term. You can scare people into doing almost anything. But in the long run, you will always lose, because anger always alienates people. Think about it: when people are angry and shouting at you, does that draw you closer to them or push you away from them?
If you are a parent and you are using anger to try to motivate your kids, you are pushing them away. When your kids are young, they think you are a superhero. Everyone else might think you are quirky or odd, but not your kids—they think you can do no wrong. Their spirits are wide open to you, but if you continue to show anger toward them, they will shut down. Even if you show them love at other times, they will build a wall to try and protect themselves from the unexpected outbursts of anger. Paul recognized this danger when he warned, “ And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
If you do struggle with anger you may feel like there’s nothing you can do about it. But I will tell you that you have more control over your anger than you think. You can learn to express your emotions without losing control.
Lord, please forgive me for all the times I have lost control of my anger. Please give me guidance and self-control so that I can express myself in a way that glorifies you. Amen.
The moment I read this devotion one thought came to mind, guilty. I feel if we are truly honest with ourselves we have all “sprayed our stinking temper on anyone who gets in the way”, some struggle with anger more than others but I do believe there is hope, guidance and self control that can only come from seeking The Lord, prayer and His word. We must look to Him and His word to saturate our minds and hearts so we don’t allow the enemy opportunity to use the tool of anger to destroy our love and peace within ourselves and those around us. It is possible.
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

Not Rendering Evil for Evil

Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9) 
Even the most peaceable among us has been upset by what we are hearing, seeing and watching.
It’s hard to not feel heartbroken and angry.
But, when you became a believer you laid down your right to carry anger or hatred.
When you live in a world that says, “I have the right to be angry!” It’s hard to hang on to Kingdom thinking.
Hate is a subtle and comforting lover that begins with blindness… only to progress to slavery and abuse. None of us have the right to hate!
God infuse me with peace that passes all understanding. (Phil 4)
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. (1 Peter 3:8)
When I read this devotion it jumped off the screen at me. I was reminded of Ephesians 4:26, Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. I love the point todays devotion is driving home for each and every one of us. May our deepest desire be just this, God infuse me with peace that passes all understanding. None of us have the right to carry anger or hatred. Amen!
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

How To Deal With Anger

A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. (Proverbs 29:11) 
The question of how to deal with anger in a biblical way is an important one. But it’s certainly not the cookie-cutter answer many of us have heard. 
Have you ever had a moment where you said something in red-hot anger? Only to ask yourself moments later: “How could I say that?” 
Sadly, I’ve had far too many of these moments. And today’s devotional verse calls me out as acting like a “fool” who let anger control my words and actions. 
However, I don’t think the heart of this passage is to simply suppress anger or other negative emotions. It’s not about pretending like anger isn’t there. 
After all, psychologically speaking, shoving emotions asidedoesn’t make them go away. Instead, it creates a tangled pile that will surface and need dealt with later. 
So, what does the Bible teach us? 
He taught that everyone who is angry with his brother is liable to the same kind of judgment as a murderer (Matthew 5:20–21). And yet, he also chased predatory business people out of the synagogue with a whip (Matthew 21:12)! 
  1. Ask for the Holy Spirit to increase the fruit of the Spirit in your life (Galatians 5:22–23). When we’re angry, it’s actually the quickest path to being pruned and prepared for incredible growth. And understand that we absolutely need the Holy Spirit’s power to mature us here!
  2. Address the anger head on by making peace with the person or situation you’re angry with. Jesus teaches us that conflict is actually the path to peace (Matthew 18:15–17; Matthew 5:23–24). Lashing out and attacking is not the way Christians do conflict. But avoiding it altogether and seething in anger is unbiblical as well.
  3. Ask if your anger is righteous and justified—which is sometimes the case. And if so, does it require action? Is there evil or injustice to confront? Someone who is weak to defend? If so, act! But don’t do so to give “vent to your spirit” just to make yourself feel better. Be angry, but do not sin (Psalm 4:4). Righteous anger is aligned with God. It’s being angry at what makes God angry.

How will you deal with anger in a God-honoring way? Is there unresolved conflict that you need to deal with? 

Dear Jesus, Please help us to monitor ourselves better and to have more control over our reactions. Please help us to put aside any strong feelings of needing to justify ourselves with anger. Please help us to learn how to guard our tongues until we have had a chance to calm down, think things over and seek your face. Amen. 

When I read this devotion today I felt it needed to be shared. We have all dealt with anger at one point or another in our lives and some of us continue to struggle with it. My prayer today is that this devotion gives you guidance and direction when dealing with anger. 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

Today’s Reading is Luke 11:13