In our last devotion, we considered the fact that we live in a world where people often allow their anger to get the better of them. Anger can destroy our honor, ruin our lives and the lives of the people around us. Saying, “I’m just a hot-tempered person” doesn’t cut it with God. He doesn’t like it and He expects us to do something about it! In Mattew Chapter 5 we learned that Jesus knew we would get angry, but wanted us to deal with it. And, He wants us to help others deal with their anger. Today, a practical passage from the book of James tells us how we can face up to our anger and help others:
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:13-18)
James says the wise will demonstrate wisdom by the way they act. Let’s hear it again: “The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds.” One important characteristic of wisdom is the willingness to yield. Much of the anger in our world comes from an unwillingness to yield. Road rage, for example. In traffic, someone cuts in line and a fight breaks out. Someone wants a parking space but another pulls into it, resulting in an angry outburst. One person honks their horn and the other person…shoots him. Managing our anger is not the result of mind control or stuffing it down inside. Rather, wisdom comes from humility. We don’t have to control every situation. We don’t have to worry if somebody doesn’t give us proper respect. What’s at stake when somebody treats you disrespectfully? An opportunity. When we make peace with others, the Bible says that’s righteous, and we’re helping others find peace. Today, ask God to show you areas in your life where anger is a problem. Ask Him to help you overcome it. And then, be intentional about resolving the issue in a peacemaking way.
You are called to be God’s redemptive agent to plant seeds of peace in our world, and through Jesus Christ, you can help bring peace to the world for His sake...and that's very Good News!