January 11, 2011

The Four Walls


I never watch Oprah. I do not like Oprah. Yes, she has done much good for humanity sake but nothing in terms of kingdom things. I do believe God can use her for His good and I believe that He has at times. That being said, I watched Oprah yesterday. I don't even know why other than I was feeling horrible, trying to rest and had the TV on. She was the only thing on outside of Jerry Springer so she won out.


 

Oprah had a guest on who said something that caught my attention. The particular guest was talking about her anger and dealing with a nasty lawsuit. She talked about her anger and how she realized that as long as she pursued legal action against this person she kept herself within the four walls of an angry box and only was hurting herself. How true. Those who seek vengeance out on another cannot move on and find joy and happiness. It is not possible. Taking vengeance against someone is caused by anger and a need to destroy or hurt another person. Joy cannot be found in those kinds of things.


 

There is a reason why God tells us to live in peace with one another. "Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you." 2 Corinthians 13:11

It is not because He wants to make all the rules and push us around. God is a loving God. God wants to see His children happy and full of joy but this cannot occur if we are acting in a way that goes against what He commands us to do. Jesus gave the greatest commandment: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39.


 

How can we be obedient to this command if we are full of anger and vengeance?

Anger turns to sin when…


 

  • It is selfishly motivated


"19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do."

James 1:19-25

  • When God's glory is lost

"31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God"

1 Corinthians 10:31-32

  • When anger lingers too long

26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold." Ephesians 4:26-27

What then happens is that instead of using the energy generated by anger to attack the problem we end up attacking the person.

 Scripture is clean in saying that we are to speak the truth in love and use our words to build others up. We are not to use destructive words to hurt another child of God. Unfortunately, venomous speech is a common trait of the sinful man

  • Anger becomes sin when it is allowed to boil over, resulting in a situation where hurt is multiplied

"11 Fools give full vent to their rage, 
   but the wise bring calm in the end."

Proverbs 29:11

This kind of anger leaves devastation in its wake, often with consequences beyond repair.

  • Anger also becomes sin when the angry one holds a grudge and keeps it all locked up inside. This is where resentment and bitterness take hold of our heart and all joy is lost.

26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold." Ephesians 4:26-27


 

God gives us a game plan for dealing with our anger when we feel someone has wronged us.

  • Be honest and share what is on our minds. We cannot assume that people know they have wronged us or even know what is happening in our heads.

"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." Ephesians 4:15


 

  • We must not allow those things inside of us to fester until we reach a place of losing all control.


     

26 "In your anger do not sin" Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.


Ephesians 4:26-27


  • Attack the problem. An issue cannot be resolved if we choose to attack one another.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Ephesians 4:29

  • Act, not react

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:31-32

Because of our sinful nature, our first response is often a sinful one. It is a me first response instead of resolving the issue and turns into the blame game. We must work to solve our own part of the problem. We cannot control how others will act or respond, but we can make the changes that need to be made on our part.

I think God makes it pretty clear in terms of His feelings toward anger. It becomes our choice on how we will respond. We will choose bitterness or joy? Seems pretty simple to me. Any thoughts?

2 comments:

  1. I am thrilled that you have finally come to this realization. My concern has always been and foremost of the kids. The harm has been to them. How will that be rectified when done by both Mom and Dad? You will be able to move on. They will live with this the rest of their lives. It is truly all about them.

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  2. I always love those that choose to post comments anonymously. I can only guess that you harbor some sort of anger or bitterness yourself. I am sorry if that is the case because it is not a fun place to be and not a place I would choose to stay. From your comment it seems as if you think you know my situation but I am quite certain that is not the case as I feel quite certain you have never spoken to me about any of what my children or myself have been through.
    You are correct that this will forever impact the lives of my children. Just as your parents as well as my own made choices that impacted our lives, we as parents have to do what we believe is the ultimate best for our children. We learn from past experiences and mistakes made by others as well as ourselves and we try to the best we can. We don't always get it right because we are human but when our hearts are focused on God and not ourselves, He holds our hand and guides our steps.
    I have taken what I have observed in my own life from watching my own parents, my in-laws as well as other family while holding on to Truth and tried to put the pieces together in order to decide what would be best for my children. God called me to motherhood. My priority is to protect and love my children. I would give my heart if it meant saving the life of my child. THAT is what a mother is called to do and that is what I have tried to do. Only God, myself and my spouse know the truth in this situation and what we have had to endure. I truly believe that we each experience tough times in our life. My childhood was filled with much pain. As an adult it is my choice whether I will move on and focus on all God has given me now or harbor that hurt and become bitter. No one has the perfect life. It is up to me as a mom to teach my kids through this ordeal so that maybe down the road, they will not find themselves in the same boat I found myself. I can either choose to act like what has happened is no big deal and sweep it under the rug or I can choose to teach them what respect, love, forgiveness and grace looks like so that they may know God in the way that I know God. I choose to break the cycle and no longer allow it to be thought that a woman should not be treated with respect. I want my children to know that they are children of a King who loves them and wants the very best for them. That they were created for His glory and to fulfill His purpose.
    It IS truly about them but it is up to us, as their parents to decide what they learn from this situation and how we respond to one another. Prayers are appreciated.

    Love in Him,
    Nicole

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