Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you….
I have always flirtted with the idea of creating and publishing a “Spiritual” blog. As a believer, I love the idea of writing articles and doing inspirational book reviews for other believers as well as those precious people who find themselves somewhere along the way between non-believer and believer. I often think of these people as believing, but not being entirely sure what they believe in.
What kind of Christian wouldn’t want to try to reach them?!?
To be honest with you, I’m still not 110 percent sure if I will create a separate blog for my Spiritual articles or if I’ll simply publish them here. In the meantime, until my cats tell me which direction to take, I’m going to publish them here. If you ARE a Christian, would call yourself a “Believer,” or are simply an open-minded individual with more questions than answers, I hope you’ll get something from these articles.
I honestly don’t believe I have any Self Help Daily readers who are so close-minded that they’d object to these articles being interspersed with the rest of Self Help Daily’s content – but if I do, I might as well out them now.
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” – Ephesians 4: 30-31
I don’t have the qualifications (nor am I sure who would) to say whether we are or are not in what would Biblically be called the “final days.” I do know that the final days are marked by a time when good is called bad and bad is called good.
I’ll just leave that for you to decide where we stand.
I’m also not going to wax judgmental about anyone or anything. God is much more interested in me keeping my eyes on Him. If He needed me to police other people, He would have told me so, Himself. He wants me to pray for others and I certainly do. He wants me to tell others about His Son and it’s my honor to do so. He wants me to do what’s right and to walk closely by Him. I set this as my purpose every single day.
But judge others? He simply doesn’t need my help in that area.
Here’s the thing. People all around us are engaging in all manners of craziness and, often, vileness. Crime is all around us and it’s not getting any better. It often feels like the world has lost its collective mind, doesn’t it?! Political news, alone, can leave you convinced it’s the end of the world.
But, between you and me, you want to know what makes me sadder than just about anything? The fact that so many believers are grieving the Holy Spirit. I’m not making that call… God is. In Ephesians, we’re told that when we allow bitterness, anger, and malice to rule our thoughts and heart, we GRIEVE the Holy Spirit. We cause God to feel uneasy, possibly even sad, when we allow these negative emotions to identify us.
Is it natural to get angry when you read about violence or crime? Is it logical to feel downright ticked off to know that there are people out there who want men using the same restroom your daughters do? You bet! But if we allow ourselves to become so angry that negative thoughts and wrath are the norm with us, we GRIEVE the Holy Spirit.
We become our anger and that’s the last thing God wants to see.
Have you ever been in someone’s presence who was completely negative and even had an underlying anger that seemed to spill out of their pores? Every word out of their mouth was gloom and doom and nothing suited them? If you’ve been around someone like that, you know that it’s a relief when they walk away. That is not the sort of person we want to spend time with, right?
So why would the Holy Spirit want to spend time with us when WE are the walking pile of anger? The situation is especially bad for Him because He’s stuck with us!
It’s only natural – in this day and time – to feel overwhelmed by what we see and hear. The only way to stay sane and to retain the calmness and self control God wants us to have is to spend time with Him. When you’re praying for others, don’t forget to pray for yourself. Ask for help in handling what you see around you. Ask Him to help you stay YOU and not become a bitter, angry, raging person that looks like you but no longer sounds like you.
Wouldn’t allowing the things you hate to make you just as ugly as they are be an unspeakable tragedy?
Sidestep anger, run away from bitterness, put aside slanderous & vengeful thoughts, and get back to you.
Don’t GRIEVE the Spirit… REFLECT Him
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” – Galatians 5:22-23
If social media causes you to feel especially angry, avoid it or at least limit your exposure.
If there are certain people on social media who cause you to feel as miserable as they apparently are… why are you following them?! Unfollow the perpetually negative crowd and follow people who are more upbeat and positive.
When you feel anger creeping up on you, read something or spend time with someone that’ll help you find peace again. Anger is not the problem – we all feel angry from time to time. Anger becomes a problem when it rules our world and dictates our thoughts.
If watching the news causes you to feel stressed out, consider watching it less regularly. A constant diet of negativity isn’t good for anyone.
Do a self inventory throughout the day and ask yourself if you’re grieving the Spirit or reflecting Him.
Listen to yourself: When you’re talking to others, listen to your words and to the tone of your words. Are the majority of your words angry? Are you talking more about what’s ugly than you’re talking about what’s lovely? Remind yourself that this is not the person you want to be.
Do NOT allow the ugliness in the world to move into your heart and mind. Protect them with everything you’ve got.
~ Joi (“Joy”)