But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 (NIV)
I don’t know about you but I find it really hard to pray when I’m angry.
Instead of praying I would rather shout angry mean words. I’ve even been known to throw stuff at people.
Sometimes my hands get so itchy I just want to hurt something. Or somebody.
But then I remember that isn’t what Jesus would do.
It’s not that Jesus didn’t get angry. He did.
It’s that when he did, he allowed the Holy Spirit to take the lead.
Jesus allowed his own passions and desires to take second place to what the Holy Spirit wanted.
love to replace hate
joy to replace sorrow
peace to replace irritation
and patience to replace annoyance.
By doing this Jesus made people want a relationship with him.
I’m learning that whenever I get angry I push people away, I damage the relationship that was just starting to form.
Too often we allow anger to destroy our relationships.
We speak too quickly, shout too passionately, and do things we regret.
We do not take the time to ask the Holy Spirit to replace our negative feelings with his passions and desires.
It is difficult in the heat of the moment to stop and pray - harder still to share love, joy and peace instead of a piece of your mind – but it’s possible.
If someone has made you so angry that you just want to fight pray that the Holy Spirit will take all the anger and pain and hurt and replace it with his passions and desires.
Pray that God will show you how to act in love, joy, peace and patience.
Ask that God will help and show you how to preserve the relationship that your anger tried to destroy.
Even if you lose your cool today - scream and shout and mess up - remember that it’s never to late to ask God to show you how to fix the mess you’ve made.
What are some of the things that make you really angry and how do you deal with it?