3.02.2016

Removing my heart of anger - so I can look like Him!

The Mom Poll has closed - and the results are in.

While my overall rating is high, my numbers took a serious dive in one category.
Anger.

All six children unanimously agreed that I have been angry/frustrated/impatient with them as of late.
Some stated it plainly while others tried to be gracious, offering why they feel my anger is justified. (There are a lot of us. So-and-so is defiant and never obeys. You're not angry all the time, just when people aren't listening or they are doing something dumb.)
While I appreciate their desire to lessen the impact of the point plummet, there is nothing that can justify my sin.
Scripture is VERY clear on this point.
This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:20

Sigh.

I was already convicted about this sin issue while studying the book of James with a friend. When we exchanged thoughts about chapter one I told her I needed to camp there for a bit to let it fully penetrate my heart and mind. While camping, the Lord sent my children for a visit to confirm the lesson. After talking with them I asked Dennis for his thoughts, and sadly, he concurred.

Lord! Help me!

It is time to die to self.
What is the root of anger after all?
Pride. Entitlement. "I deserve ..."
So when I don't get what I want - obedience, kindness. thoughtfulness, acceptance, acknowledgement, appreciation - I respond with anger.
Should my children be obedient? Kind? Thoughtful? Yes. If they refuse to obey You in these areas, they are in sin. But I do not need to JOIN THEM in their sin!

I am responsible for me.
When I stand before the Lord to give account for my words and actions, I stand A L O N E.
There will be no one to point to. No one to blame.
It will be a private interview.
With one Judge, and one standard - the Word of God.
All of my excuses and justifications will be swallowed up by the sound of those pages turning, one by one, as the Judge reads verse after verse about controlling anger, reigning in the temper, guarding the mouth, and being self-controlled.
And I will stand - silent.

The worst part of all of this? I know better!
I am not a rookie.
I have read the Bible countless times, and listened to and been convicted by hundreds of sermons, testimonies, and writings on this topic these past 39 years since salvation.
I know what God's Word says about anger. I have the verses memorized!
I am without excuse.
Yet here I sit. Guilty as charged.

But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3

Lord!
I am living in the flesh. Being controlled by the flesh. Like Paul, I do what I don't want to do, and don't do what I should. And I hate it!
I am on the wrestling mat with You again.
Push me, pull me, pin me until I have no energy left to summon up the tiniest bit of anger.
I have to squash this, Lord. I have no choice.
I want to be righteous and holy like You command me to be. But You said it Yourself - the anger of man does NOT produce the righteousness of God.
So here I am, Lord.
Take away my anger and replace it with gentleness, kindness, patience, and long-suffering.
Remove any sense of entitlement or pride, thinking I deserve to get my way.
I deserve nothing.
But You gave me EVERYthing.
Beginning with eternal life through the death and resurrection of Your Son.

I want to look like Jesus, Father, so I am begging You ... remove my heart of anger ... so I can look like Him!

Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18

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