“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV)
Do you want to give an opportunity to the devil? Do you want to allow the devil to damage your relationships with others? Do you want to live a life of constant strife? Who would say “yes” to any of those questions? Certainly not me. I would much rather live a life filled with your peace. I never want to give the devil any kind of opportunity in my life. I want to have healthy and happy relationships with others. I want to live as one of your peacemakers in the world. That’s good. Why are you asking me these questions? Is there something that I am not doing that you want me to do? Is there something that I am doing that I could do better? Those are good questions.
Are you forgiving towards others? Are you willing to overlook an offense? Are you easily angered? Do you freely vent your anger to others when they fail to live up to your expectations? Do you carry anger towards others from one day into the next? Do you carry grudges with you wherever you go? I see where you are headed with this. Where is that? You want me to become like you. You want to forgive others just as you have forgiven me. You want me to be willing to lay down my rights so that I will not be angered when someone does not live up to my expectations. You don’t want me to carry anger from day into another. You don’t want me to carry grudges wherever I go. That’s right.
So, where should I can I start? How do I begin? You could begin with prayer. How so? You could ask me to help you to become one of my peacemakers in the world. I will ask that of you right now. That’s good. That’s a start. How else can I pray? Do you have in mind anyone that rubs you the wrong way? Can you think of anyone who frustrates you? Can you remember anyone who has hurt or harmed you? You’re kidding right? No, I am not kidding. Well, I don’t need to rack my brain to think of someone who frustrates me. It won’t take but a second to recall someone who has hurt or harmed me. I know of several people that definitely rub me the wrong way. Put these people on your prayer list. Ask me to help you to bless their lives. Do for them what you want me to do for you. Like what? Show them your kindness. Give them your mercy. Extend to them your help. Love and forgive them just as I have loved and forgiven you. I get it. Will you do it? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good. Then the devil will never be able to use anger to gain a foothold in your life.
Lord, I have held on to anger and harbored bitterness and wrath. I have wanted to get even. I have wanted to seek revenge. Forgive me of these attitudes. Help me to love others and make peace with them. I will forgive others just as you have forgiven me. Amen
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