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*From the recently released book “Captivated Anew”.

I love the mental picture John 2:14-17 paints:

“In the temple courts,” John writes, “[Jesus] found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Modern church culture attempts to make Jesus more palatable, politically correct, and culturally popular than the way that Scripture presents Him. Though Jesus was a radical and a revolutionary, we have tried to domesticate Christ—almost as if we are embarrassed by His “zeal.” According to God’s Word, Jesus was such an extremist that He was convicted of treason and crucified by the religious and political leaders of His day. He upset the cultural applecart by contradicting virtually every known tradition and religious standard. Moreover, Jesus’ message irritated almost everyone but true spiritual seekers. His unorthodox band of followers was made up of outcasts, including marginalized women, the disenfranchised, and the poor. He was maligned and impugned for His ministry and was devalued by most respected theologians and rulers. But don’t think of Jesus as a victim; everything He did spoke to His authority as God’s Son. While His ways may have chafed against the culture, they were completely right and good.

Our Lord was never one to uphold tradition over truth, and He minced no words while exposing the hypocrisy of those religious authority figures. Consider the method that Christ used to teach. His greatest sermon began, “You have heard … but…”, an introduction pointing to radical new teachings that would revolutionize the world (See Matthew 5).  Jesus’ approach led some to verbally align Him with Satan (Matthew 12:24). His teachings and behavior sometimes seemed so outlandish that even His own family questioned His mental stability (Mark 3:21).

Christ was admired by some but understood by almost no one. Eventually, His life was deemed of less value than a murderous criminal and the sinless Jesus was crucified in a convict’s place. Understand that Scripture gives a drastically different picture of Jesus than is portrayed today. He is often viewed as passive, weak, popular, politically correct and altogether tame. Jesus seems so sweet and loving that people forget His sternness and wrath. We must remember that Jesus is just as much “The Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5) and he is “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29).

Why do so many believers forsake Jesus’ radical and revolutionary image? I think the truth lies in the fact that many want peace, harmony, ease, and comfort more than we desire to make an unpopular stand based upon His Word. Each of us must love Jesus enough—and others enough—to become a cultural extremist for Him. We must strive to be more like Him, the real Him, as we seek call out the spiritual hypocrisy, bad theology, and the man-centeredness that waters down today’s evangelicalism.

We, “[Christ’s] called, chosen and faithful followers,” are to be radicals and revolutionaries with the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 17:14). We do this so that we can effectively share the gospel with a world in desperate need of a powerful Savior. In First Corinthians 2:13-16 the Apostle Paul said,

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

I pray that we take on the “whole mind of Christ” as we carry the gospel message to the world. In following Him we will cut against the grain of our worldly, hypocritical, and self-indulgent culture. This stance for the Truth will not always be popular or easy, but we can rest in the assurance of victory as we radically imitate Christ’s radical mission: to fearlessly testify to the truth of God and demonstrate His eternal Kingship (John 18:37).


My response to the question “Do You Hate Your Life?” is simple: I should!  When someone else responds to the same question I pray they say the same thing. Or maybe even a more profound, “I do”. I know that this sounds strange, but I think Jesus would agree with me. He said, “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25).

These are hard words.  But they come from the lips of Jesus. That makes me want to pay attention.  Do I understand this?  I think I’m beginning to. Usually when someone says “I hate my life” it is a bad thing. We think of depression, despondency, and maybe even suicidal tendencies in the life of the speaker. Jesus’ words, however, suggest that something far more joyous, wonderful, and glorious is involved here. I’m not recommending some sort of morbid fatalism. Nor is that what Jesus is trying to encourage. This verse is a comparative statement. In other words, He is asking if we love Him more than our own life here in this world.

Recently I was chatting with my next door neighbor and the conversation turned to the attractiveness of the world.  He said, “At 82 years of age this old world has lost most of its attraction”.  I paused for but a second and then blurted out, “I’m a significantly younger than that but I couldn’t agree more”. I said it from my heart and with all sincerity. The more I thought about my reaction the more I realized that it wasn’t just the sin, trials, pain and suffering of this world that I wanted to escape from.  I want to be with my Lord and Savior. That desire becomes more common in me almost daily and I know that is a work of His grace.

Paul felt the same way: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!  I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Philippians 1:21-24). Yes, he wanted to live in such a way that demonstrates that “[God’s] love is better than life” (Psalm 63:3). But Paul is acknowledging that life is good for ministry but only within the framework that heaven is indescribably better because of the immediate presence of our Savior and the unhindered experience of being with Jesus. For Paul this isn’t just escapism because He is familiar with the ultimate reward of His death – Jesus Himself.

I do want intimate fellowship with Him now, to be busy in the Lord’s work, and be profitable for His kingdom as long as He chooses for me to remain here. But the older I get the less I want to hang around here on this earth. Yes, my life has had its share of disappointments but it goes beyond that. More and more I feel like I’m not at home here. I think that is what the writer of Hebrews was saying when he wrote, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13).  Peter underscores that we are “aliens and strangers in the world” (1 Peter 2:11). Paul comments, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 3:20).

Do we freely admit we are aliens and strangers here? Or do we desperately cling to this world as if it is our ultimate reward? Do we believe the love of God is better than life itself and eagerly await our Savior? Those are tough questions and only God and each individual know the answers. Do we, like Paul, see our time on this earth only as an opportunity for fruitful ministry while really longing to be in the presence of Jesus?

This world’s attraction is strong. Our fleshly nature encourages us to find our home, pleasures, and greatest treasures here. Satan subtly woos us to love our earthly life and its trappings. But the true believer’s real reward is not of this world. Jesus said to His disciples, “Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away…you are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world” (John 8:23). He knew that they would want to be with Him and eventually would. Jesus was inferring that they couldn’t come with Him right now but He knew that His presence was their ultimate reward.

Do we know that He is our ultimate reward as well? Our comfortableness and pleasure in this world, as well as our attraction to it, is probably a good measuring stick. James says it this way, “… Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy” (James 4:4).

“Jesus Wept”. It is the shortest verse in the Bible, yet one of the most powerful. He had just encountered the grief-stricken Mary mourning the death of her brother, Lazarus. We find the account in John 11. Even though we know that all of this transpired for God’s glory and the story had a happy ending, we still see Jesus crying along with those in pain. Amazingly, He did so even though He already knew that all would end well.

Jesus understood emotional trauma. Isaiah foreshadows Jesus when he says, “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53: 1-3). We also see Him weeping over Jerusalem just before He was to die there (Luke 19:41).

We understand that He had to experience these things in order to be a sympathetic High Priest for His people. I believe this is what the writer of Hebrews is suggesting: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses…” (Hebrews 4:15). And I think that His sympathy goes beyond just our weakness in temptation that the last half of the verse refers to.

Why? Because Isaiah 53 continues: “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53: 4-5). We see the Suffering Servant as one who ministers to our pain and suffering through His own.

Although I believe that both of these passages (Hebrews 4 and Isaiah 53) primarily refer to His redemptive work of removing His children from the deserved eternal punishment for our sin, I also believe they portray His compassion for our hurts and sadness. He can sympathize because He experienced real pain and sorrow for us.

Also, we see evidences of His compassion elsewhere. Four times in Matthew’s gospel alone we see that He has compassion on people. There we so many that He looked at with a tender heart as He was moved by their circumstances. Of course, God, His Father, in the same sense, sovereignly demonstrates divine love towards His own people: “And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Exodus 33:19).

So what does this mean to us, His children – those whom He has chosen to have compassion on? I believe that it means, beyond the forgiveness of sins, He cries with us, desires to give us comfort, and He conquers for us. I believe this message is a significant part of Paul’s words to the church at Corinth: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows” (1 Corinthians 1:3-5).

No doubt, the tears will come. But for His children, the God of compassion and the High Priest of comfort is there for us. Yes, He promised that in this world we will have pain but He also promised us eventual victory in Him – “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In other words, despite our trials, we have peace, hope, and victory in Him.

How is that? He now intercedes on our behalf. And He demonstrated His worthiness to do so by weeping, understanding sorrow, being familiar with grief, and suffering in our place. Surely He carries our sorrows now and forevermore. So, I believe I most fully experience His gracious compassion when I’m at the foot of the cross gazing upon the irrepressibly beautiful One who cries with me, comforts me, and conquers for me. “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance” (Psalm 42:5, NKJV).

Although much of CCM is truly Christ-centered and biblical, I’m often amazed by the amount of self-absorbed lyrics this genre presents. A recent hit, “Free to be Me” by Francesca Battistelli, is quite indicative of this drift toward man-centeredness.  Here is a sampling of the words set to this catchy tune:

I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
And on my own I’m so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me

Sometimes I believe
That I can do anything
Yet other times I think
I’ve got nothing good to bring
But You look at my heart and you tell me
That I’ve got all You seek

And it’s easy to believe, even though…

And you’re free to be you

Although positive and peppy, the song sends some questionable messages. Never mind that there are direct 21 references to herself (and other indirect ones) here and only a handful of references to God (none of which are personal names); these words are rife with self-orientation and dangerous theology.  Battistelli has another song, “It’s Your Life”, with a similar theme.  Although most who sing along don’t catch the not-so-subtle message of humanism, it is very real. Here are some thoughts:

  • Perfection is not an enemy to the Christian but a God-imposed standard that can only be met through life transforming faith in Jesus – who He is (and He was perfect) and what He accomplished for us. Actually, 2 Corinthians 13:9 implores us to “aim for perfection” even though our holiness is only found in Jesus.
  • We should never think we can do “anything” in and of ourselves. We can only do what He has called us to do in and through Him (Philippians 4:13). When commenting on his own identity Paul said, “It is not me but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
  • We don’t have anything good to bring to Him. God does not look at us and see that who and what we are apart from Him is all that He seeks. In and of ourselves there is no good thing that makes us worthy of his agape love. The very meaning of grace is unmerited favor (see Ephesians 2:8-9). Paul makes this abundantly clear to the church at Rome: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” (Romans 7:18).
  • We are not free to be “us” but, instead, we are free to be “His”. God does not put us on His shoulders so that we can be our own and do our own thing. We have been purchased with a very precious price and therefore we are no longer our own (1 Corinthians 6:19). Jesus said we must “lose our life” in order to gain His (Matthew 16:25).

If this cursory piece doesn’t tell us anything else I hope that we capture the notion that our humanistic tendencies are everywhere – even in the music genre known as CCM. Much of what we believe comes from the lyrics of our songs (shame on us, by the way) so let’s be mindful of the message of what we are listening to and singing.  Does it place God front and center? Is Jesus magnified as our only Source for all we are called to be? Is He exalted as our highest treasure and infinitely valuable?  Let’s be careful that this medium of worship points us to Him and not ourselves. Let’s pursue a worship that is based upon the truth of His Word and not worldly, self-esteem based psychology.  For in the end, it is not about us – as Christ-followers what we are free to be His for His glory alone.

“They are a child of God”.  How often have you heard the phrase spoken about people who have never known the saving grace of Jesus? The presumption is that all of God’s creatures are automatically His children.  Nothing could be more false. I challenge you to find any scripture that clearly indicates that ALL people are God’s children.  If such were the case why, in the Old Testament, was the nation of Israel alone God’s chosen people?

Theologian J.I. Packer makes this abundantly clear in his classic book, Knowing God:

“What is a Christian? The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father.

But cannot this be said of every person, Christian or not? Emphatically no! The idea that all are children of God is not found in the Bible anywhere. The Old Testament shows God as the Father, not of all, but of his own people, the seed of Abraham…. The New Testament has a world vision, but it too shows God as the Father, not of all, but of those who, knowing themselves to be sinners, put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their divine sin-bearer and master, and so become Abraham’s spiritual seed…. Sonship to God is not, therefore, a universal status into which everyone enters by natural birth, but a supernatural gift which one receives through receiving Jesus…. The gift of sonship to God becomes ours not through being born, but through being born again”. (Packer, J.I. Knowing God, Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1973, p. 200-201.).

In a more granular way, the Gospel of John explains, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).

We see in these verses:

  • His children must receive Him.
  • We become His children through faith.
  • We must believe in Jesus alone (“in His name”).
  • This adoption is a gift from God.
  • Man does not “will” his entry into the family of God.
  • Our adoption is a supernatural and spiritual endowment (“born of God”).


  • We believe because we have already been adopted into His family: “…He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…” (Ephesians 1:5).
  • Because we have been given the gift of adoption we have the privilege of calling Him our Father. Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba (which describes the intimate term of ‘Daddy’), Father.”
  • As His children we will receive an incomprehensibly glorious inheritance: “Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:17).

Although all people deserve our love, courtesy, and civil respect, please do not be deceived into thinking (because it “feels” right) that all people fall under the broad umbrella of being God’s children. That designation is unique to His adopted ones. They alone receive His grace and the corresponding forgiveness and eternal life that He mercifully gives. Only His true children – those that receive, believe and live in Jesus due to His sovereign grace – experience the joy of calling Him “Daddy” now and forevermore.

So, let us be cognizant that there is a world of folks who haven’t believed and received Him.  They are not God’s children. They do not obey the Gospel of God. We must reach out to them and pray that God draws them into His glorious family.  It is a matter of eternal life and death.  The apostle Peter says, “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).

The consumer church today often sends a false but feel-good message that our introspective and negative thoughts about ourselves are all unscriptural and just bad psychology.  The premise is that we’ve been wrongly told that we are bad things (unworthy, liars, arrogant, adulterers, proud, angry murderers, deceivers– this list could go on ad infinitum).  We begin to believe these things and then we become them. In fact, we begin to act them out in the form of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The theme is clear: we are not those things and we need to stop telling ourselves that we are – we have been freed from all of this by the forgiveness found in Christ. In other words, we must stop thinking ourselves to be sinful. I believe this is a subtle and dangerous concept. I believe that we ARE all of those things but Christ isn’t.  And that is the essence of the Gospel and grace.

Let’s look at the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:17-48 Jesus peels back to layers of our wicked hearts. If you are angry at your brother then you are a murderer.  If you lust then you have committed adultery. He is making it clear that if we think that we are not all of these unholy things we are terribly and dangerously wrong. No amount of positive self-talk will change the fact that “our righteousness is as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) and “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.  Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).  And since the committing of one sin (or the omission of doing good) condemns us in all of them (James 2:10) we must acknowledge our total depravity. So, in a practical sense, we must know that in this body we continue to demonstrate the very sin nature that necessitates our salvation.

However, when we are ‘in Christ” we are declared (the word “declared” is pivotal) righteous. We aren’t righteous but He proclaims us to be based upon His own sinlessness.  So, it all comes back to His righteousness and not ours (or our “worth”). No amount of positive self-talk will change our evil hears.  That is the regenerating work of God alone. In Christ we are seen as righteous in God’s eyes only due to the perfect life, sacrifice, and victorious resurrection of Jesus. So, it is about His true worth and not our false worth.  Frankly, any discussion that centers on us convincing ourselves of our own worth and righteousness devalues His. We must look only to Him for any sense of our forgiveness and holiness as His chosen. Anything else is just a deadly combination of the humanism and secular pop-psychology that has infiltrated the contemporary church.

Granted, Christians have the gift of the “Helper, the Holy Spirit, to aid us in overcoming these sin issues (which presumes that we still have these issues) and the power of God in us can help us deal with our evil nature (along with paralyzing, toxic, Satanic, and unhealthy self-flagellation). Yes, we now have the power to be freed of our bondage to sin. But we still have to deal with indwelling sin. We still do battle with these innate tendencies. Listen to Paul:

“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin” (Romans 7:14-25).

Clearly, true Christians WILL battle those propensities – that is why I believe that progressive sanctification in this life is a real process in the true believer’s life.  We DO grow into Christ’s image  (Colossians 1:10) and better project His beauty and glory.  But, then again, we are pointed back to Him as the source of both our postitional and (eventual) permanent sanctification. As you have heard, “it’s not who we are but whose we are”.

So what does that make us when we think of our identity, not in ourselves or our thinking, “in Him”?  Let’s look at 1 Peter 2:9-10:

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy”.

Let us see that our identity (who we are in Him) is:

  • Chosen by God
  • Made into a Priest (having direct access to the Farther) by Him
  • Declared holy by His sacrifice
  • Owned by God our Redeemer
  • Created to glorify His excellencies
  • Called to live out the light of His truth
  • An adopted part of His family
  • Receivers of His mercy

In other words, we get our identity from God. In fact, our identity IS our relation to God. We are chosen by God. We are possessed by Him. We are adopted by Him. We are set apart as holy by our Lord. We are recipients of mercy from Him. If there is anything good in us it is His gift to us and not of our own. Yes, we are valued.  The list above demonstrates that. But the value imposed upon us is because of Him and His grace toward us.  God forbid that we think that we have these gifts or any goodness because we think ourselves to be better than we actually are. Blessed are those who know that who we are as true Christians is totally about His unmerited favor and not our mental gymnastics.

So, please do not buy into the deception that we are inherently good.  That all we need to do is to think we are OK and therefore we are.  We are not good (Romans 3:10).  That’s why Jesus lived and died – so that we could be declared righteous.  If we are anything good before God it is because He sees the sinlessness of Christ and not our “filthy rags”.  Otherwise, His dying was in vain.  Therefore, we must look to the cross.  That is where we find who we are “in Him”, “by Him” and “through Him”.

We have all been angry.  I know that I have. There is a form of righteous anger (righteous indignation) that is not sin (see John 2:14-17 and Ephesians 4:26) but it is extraordinarily rare. Most of the occasions that I vented and displayed the venom of anger it was not about a righteous cause but about me and my issues. In other words, the outward anger we display is not the real problem (or disease) but the symptom of a deeper spiritual or emotional issue. If we are honest with ourselves (and this may come too late to retract or correct our offensive outbursts) the real virus lies within.

So what are the spiritual and emotional root causes of our angry thoughts, words, and behavior? They include:

  • Pride/Arrogance – we feel embarrassed by ourselves, another person, a or situation.
  • Selfishness/Desire to Control – we don’t get our way and we can’t stand it.
  • Shame/Guilt – our sin is exposed.  We know we are wrong but react defensively to the truth.
  • Jealousy/Resentment – another person’s superior position triggers our rage.
  • Bitterness – our life or situation hasn’t turned out the way we wanted it too.
  • Innocent Hurt – although this is the exception, sometimes people wound us when we are truly blameless. In these situations, however, often our vengeful counter-attack is a feeble attempt at “judging” others when that is God’s work alone (Romans 12:19).

Some practical thoughts on anger:

  • Unmanaged and ungodly danger is wrong and damaging (to us and others).  Sometimes the consequences of our outbursts are not easily remediated. See James 1:20.
  • The problem is usually internal not external. Blaming others does not get to the root of the problem.
  • Our anger is a symptom not the disease. Sin and its corresponding shame is the virus that is at the heart of the problem.
  • We must call upon a God’s healing power to deal with our anger.

Some Biblical thoughts on anger:

  • God is sovereign – the situation that angers us exists because He has a greater purpose – His glory. We must learn to trust that there is God’s grander scheme at work in all of our circumstances (Romans 8:28) and not react as if He is not in control.
  • We are not God – we do not understand everything that happens to us (Isaiah 55:8) nor are we expected to. Anger is, in a real sense, a subtle distrust of Him.
  • Anger with God is always wrong. In essence, anger towards God is accusing Him of moral wrongdoing or denying His sovereign omniscience (He does not knowing what He is doing). See Genesis 18:25 and Revelation 16:7.
  • When angry, pause and pray in order to rely on the Holy Spirit to control us when we can’t control ourselves. James 1:19 says, “be slow to anger”.  Consider the ramifications and consequences of lashing out.
  • We must understand God’s grace toward us so that we can forgive others. When we acknowledge the depth and breadth of our sin and we see the amazing mercy He has displayed towards us we are more tolerant of others (Luke 7:47).

John Piper says this about the solution to anger: “I think the key is probably, ironically, discovering the exceeding sinfulness of our sin, owning it, being broken by it, and then tasting as never before the sweetness of the cross of Christ, the blood of Christ, and the forgiveness of Christ…So I think the solution lies right at the center of the Christian faith: namely, Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, taking away all our sins. But you won’t ever taste that as anger-relieving sweetness until you know how great your own sins are”.

Clearly, in all of this we must recognize that we need Jesus, the Prince of Peace, to do His mighty work in us in order for our anger (or any other sin) to be dealt with. Knowing that He has the power to still the wind and the waves (and even forgive all of our sins) should help us recognize that He is also big enough to calm our internal storms. Because my sinfulness is great and pervasive, I know that I desperately need Him in every aspect of my life – anger included.


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