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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Four little words - "and do not sin"

"Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath or give place to the devil." (Ephesians 4:26-27)

God says we can be angry. Oftentimes there is good reason. But certainly not always. I would guess more often than not there is seldom a good reason.

In Our Daily Bread reading for today Joe Stowell says anger is like a burglar alarm, with disruptive and annoying blasting filling the air. Stowell says in the midst of our peaceful lives, something turns a key in our spirit and triggers the alarm, producing exploding emotions.

I am overly familiar with this. I would guess many of you are too. A loved one says something and perhaps there is a hint of sarcasm in their voice. We hear that sarcasm and we react. Boy do we react!

Yet God says, "Be angry, and do not sin."

How many of us skip over those four little words -- "and do not sin"?

We may succeed in forgiving the other by the time bedtime comes around, but how well do we achieve not sinning in the first place? We pout, we withdraw ourselves from the others' presence - either physically or emotionally. We drive erratically. We yell and scream. We're irritated and we're sure everyone else should know it too.

We are human. But we are also God's children. And as His children, we are to be like Him, not like the world. We are to be different.

We are not to sin.

Help me Lord. Help us all ... not to let anger control our lives. Help me to meditate on You and be still.

"Be angry and do not sin. Meditate within your heart ... and be still." (Psalm 4:4)

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6