Anger – it gets the best of me sometimes or should I say most times?  It sure seems that it is the rare occasion that I conquer my anger by responding in a calm, compassionate and forgiving spirit.  Why is that?  Is it the ‘old’ me fighting to take control?  Very likely. Or Satan trying to trip me up, again.  I had a chance to catch up with an old friend recently.  As she shared about her recent circumstances, I found myself angry at how she had been treated.  I wanted to defend her situation and yell at the person who had hurt her. Yet my friend, after a year of anguish had subsided, she responded in love & chose to forgive the one who had hurt her.  James 1:19-20 tells us that we should all be slow to become angry because this does lead us to the righteous life that God desires.  That is one of those things that are ‘easier said than done’, especially as we try to do things with our own power.  God desires us to have a righteous life …filled with right-living.  Yelling or taking our anger out on others, especially those we love, is not the ‘right’ way that God wants us to live.  In fact, James goes on to say that if we consider ourselves religious & don’t keep a tight rein on our tongues, we deceive ourselves and our religion is worthless. (James 1:26).  How we respond to the situation is a witness to our religion or our faith.  Others are watching us and we need to be a good example of Christ within us, not only so that we have a righteous life but to share Christ’s love and comfort with them.  The trite saying, “what would Jesus do?” comes to mind as I think about how I should respond.  Should I respond in anger?  Or with compassion, grace and abounding in love like our LORD? (Ps. 103:8).  Again, this seems so hard to quit tripping over situations and respond in anger.  Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).  Even in how I respond to situations, I need to quit tripping or relying on my own strength and rely on the strength of the Living God who is alive within me!  If Paul can do, then so can I!

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