Monday, June 26, 2017. Sometimes we are angry about something. That can be some event in our work environment. It can be words of a colleague, of your boss, or of any other staff member in your group or in another. It can be in our church as well. There are different characters, and different expectations. It would be strange if nothing would ever happen which makes you angry …
How to deal with it? …
The New Testament knows this situation very well. It knows about our difficulties with each other. It knows well our natural impulses, when we feel hurt. Yet, it does not just let things go along as they come. But it invites us to come to him, to the Lord, with our anger - listen to the following passage from Ephesians, Chapter 4:
20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.
28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (from Ephesians 4)
How to? …
How do you get rid of anger? I like this translation here: let all bitterness and wrath and anger be put away from you. It seems that it is not us who are active here. We cannot do. We are just to weak to do it. The anger is too strong. But he is helping us. He is taking it away. He can calm us down, where we can not. Nothing is impossible for him!
I was reminded of the beatitudes of Matthew 5. Jesus is blessing the poor, the mourning, the meek. When we feel weak, he can come close to us. He is strong - he is the Lord. He can help us, where we cannot help us any more.
We are invited to be renewed in our spirit - through the work of the Holy Spirit of Jesus in us. That is needed, it is very important. We are promised new life, which starts when we come to faith, and which grows in us. We are invited to put on a new self, just as we put on new cloth in the morning. This is an offer which comes with and in Christ Jesus. It is given to us, we cannot make it. But we can put it on. We can live in it.
Bitterness fades away, when we turn to him. Wrath seems to cede - and hope remains. He gives us a deep peace. So often, his possibilities are hidden to us. And that is somehow natural: he is God after all. But he wants to be there with his wonders, in our life, day by day. And he is. His creation is so fantastic, when we just open our eyes. He is the good companion. Lord, come, see our weakness, our complete defeat. But you are Lord, today, and forever! (Roland Potthast) ... more texts