Daily Devotion Tuesday, January 22

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 – Psalm 123; Isaiah 44:9-20; Ephesians 4:17-32 and Mark 3:19b-35

Ephesians 4:17-32 – 25So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. 26Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and do not make room for the devil. ….. 31Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

When I was preparing to get married to Phyllis, I remember my mom saying clearly to me; “do not let the sun go down on your anger.” Good advice, but maybe not always. Here’s something I read this morning that makes a lot of sense. This can apply to couples or to most any relationship.

“Ideally, of course, we would all be able to truly forgive every slight and make up before bedtime. But guess what? No one is that perfect. And, in reality, most spouses don’t solve problems well when they’re mad. In fact, “the idea that it’s helpful for couples to air their grievances in the heat of the moment is probably one of the most dangerous marriage myths out there,” says John Gottman, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington and author of “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.” “Often, nothing gets resolved — the partners just get more and more furious.” When people are overwhelmed by emotions like anger, they experience what psychologists call “flooding,” a physiological response that leaves their hearts pounding and their concentration shot, to say nothing of their ability to resolve arguments fairly or amicably.

New rule: Sleep on it. Conflicts are best dealt with when you have calmed down and are well rested.”

http://www.today.com/id/24582786/site/todayshow/ns/today-relationships/t/go-bed-angry-new-marriage-rules/#.UP5-F2fheSo

I’d add to the above thought, affirm your love, your relationship with one another and set aside time tomorrow to talk about what is bothering you.

Anger is a destructive emotion when left unattended. For me it’s been like a stick of dynamite sitting in my belly. If left unattended, it festers and any little thing can light the fuse. Attended to and it can be removed, placed in a safe place and the emotion of anger subsides.

Here is one way to follow what Paul said to the Ephesians; “don’t let the sun set on your anger”. Affirm the relationship you have with the one you are angry; your spouse, your child, a good friend, a co-worker, a brother or sister in Christ. Affirm the God given relationship and then let them know there is something you’d like to talk with them about. Set aside time as soon as possible to discuss what is bothering you. Anger can be like a cancer that slowly takes life from you. By affirming the relationship you chip away at that anger, letting God’s love flow into and through you.

At marriage ceremonies I often share the importance of forgiveness. Neither husband nor wife will be perfect, so forgiveness is a key aspect for them to build a loving, life giving relationship with one another.

With whom are you angry? What steps can you take to allow God to bring healing and wholeness to the relationship?

O God, thank you for showing your love toward us. You were angry for how we worshipped foreign gods, gods of our own making. Yet you set aside your anger, sent your Son who revealed your deep and abiding love to us. Thanks be to you O God, for how you reconciled us with you and now daily offer us new life through Your Son, Jesus Christ. May we seek to bring reconciliation to broken relationships today and all the tomorrows of tomorrow. Amen.

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