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Monday, October 26, 2015

Courage Yes! Anger No!

Recall a time when your response to a reprimand was anger. Was there something in it to take courage from instead? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 622).


Ephesians 4:25-32

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “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. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

When reprimanded, our anger usually arises from a sense of unjust criticism. We get angry at the outrageous injustice of it all. Certainly a solid option for us is to respond with courage rather than anger. For courage arises from a sense of capacity rather than victimization. By substituting an inhale of courage and resolve for an inhale of anger we deeply affirm ourselves, our fundamental mission, and our resilient and persistent character. That is essentially what Martin Luther King did in his battle for civil rights – he substituted courage and resolve for anger. So also Nelson Mandela. Let us do the same this day and hereafter.  

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