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Seeds of the Kingdom

Anger

by Grace Bull

14 February 2009

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The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Galatians 5: 14-15, NIV

Anger can be rather difficult to get rid of, especially when it has taken root.

I don’t know whether you do this, but sometimes I find myself running through imaginary scenarios where I tell the person exactly what I think! Then I catch myself doing it and (hopefully) remind myself that I am certainly NOT going to say any such thing, so I had better try running through that imaginary meeting again. But somehow, however many times I re-run the scene, the angry outcome just keeps re-surfacing. I suppose that’s because I’m not really dealing with how I feel. I’m just trying to suppress it. And it doesn’t work! I remain as angry as ever, if not more so.

Once I was on a fairly long journey in my car, and I was at it again, rehearsing what I might say (but probably wouldn’t!) to someone who had really upset me. I’d been struggling with these feelings for weeks, and to make matters worse, new hurts continued to arrive from the person on a regular basis.

As I drove along the road, the angry thoughts came up again and I chose to continue with them. Then something happened. A lorry coming the other way swerved towards me. Alarm! I was too close to do anything. Fortunately it swerved back again just as quickly and no harm was done.

But at that moment God made the link for me - the power of that lorry was like the power of my anger. Just as the lorry would have destroyed me if it had continued its course towards me, so my anger would damage both the other person and myself if I allowed it to career along unchecked. Did I really intend to destroy this person? No.

Perhaps you think that’s a bit harsh - how could I destroy another person? But today’s verse tells us that if we keep on biting one another, we will destroy each other. It certainly made a big difference to my attitude that day!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that it’s OK to feel angry. I don’t have to deny it. But please help me not to sin by biting at other people. I don’t have the right to destroy them. May the meditation of my heart be right in Your eyes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Grace Bull is a member of the Ellel Ministries team, working in course development and the support of Ellel centres worldwide, having previously been a full-time GP (family doctor) for 15 years. Her passion is relationship with God and doing anything that will help other people to find that close relationship too.

 

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