What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ's body we're all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.
Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry. Don't go to bed angry. Don't give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
I've been thinking a lot about this scripture, in relation to several conversations.
It's hard to live an honest life. To be vulnerable to other people, and not know how they will respond to your secrets. How they will treat your pain. will they love you, and tell you that its ok, or will they pass judgement?
And when you're hurt...how do you respond without firing back that same hurt?
How do you be angry without sinning? How to you let it out without causing someone else pain?
I think God calls us to a life where we set an example. Where we love the unlovable, and befriend the friendless. We don't always like it. It's hard to love the ugly, mean and rude. But Jesus did it. and he's our example. So, if we're really going to live life Jesus, and honor God with what we do--we have to start at the core. We have to reach out to someone that no one else reaches out to--we have to stop being afraid that our friends will make fun of us. We have to stand up for what we believe, and speak the LOVE of Jesus into the lives of the people who need it the most.
That means, we have to start encouraging each other. Instead of making fun of scott for inviting over that really annoying guy, i have to start encouraging his friendship, and get to know that guy myself. Instead of rushing in with conclusions about someone, we have to stop, and ask them about their lives. Of course, this complicates things, because we have to keep responding.
There are some people that we just don't like. Some personalities that just don't mesh. A few people who you don't agree with. That doesn't mean that you stop loving. It means you ask God to give you the love for those people.
Everyone knows im guilty as charged when it comes to judging people. As an example from everyday life: Im especially hard on a certain quiz team who I don't think are very good sports. But maybe, then, I need to set an example for their coach. I need to invite them to practice with us, to be a team--and to understand the goal is being more like Christ, and not just getting a good personal score. I need to help my team to win humbly, and to lose gracefully. To have them be known by their love,and their spirit--and hope that it catches on. But the attitude adjustment starts with me. It starts in my heart when I ask God to make me like him, and to love, and to teach others to honor him through the quiz ministry.
In your anger do not sin...
do not say things you cannot take back.
do not spread rumors. do not talk bad about someone.
in your anger, do not sin...because this is how satan wins.
do not lie. do not steal. do not jump to conclusions. do not believe you know the whole story.
do not take revenge for your hurt.
INSTEAD...Be Kind. Be Compassionate. Forgive. Be an example of God in the world.
Pray that God will change your heart and your attitude, and that change in you can change the world.
In your anger...Be silent.
Wait for God. Trust that he will lead you.
I'm gonna try it. And I hope you'll join me on the journey. That you'll encourage me. And that you won't be afraid to confront me when I'm not responding in a way that honors Jesus.
This entire chapter of my life brought to you be the leadings of the Holy Spirit.