Andrew 12:00-6:00pm

The Word For Today

Anger management 1

'Don't sin by letting anger control you.' Ephesians 4:26 NLT

The first mention of anger in Scripture is when Cain got so angry with his brother Abel that he murdered him. In 2017, investigation showed that over half of all homicides in England and Wales were the result of some type of anger. But anger not only kills others, it can kill you. Dr Redford Williams, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science at Duke University, states: 'The hostility and anger associated with Type-A behaviour is a major contributor to heart disease. People who struggle with anger are five times more likely to suffer coronary heart disease, and people with heart disease more than double their risk of a heart attack when they get angry.'

Of course, there's a difference between anger and mere aggravation. A little girl asked her father to explain that difference. So he picked up the phone, dialled a number, allowed his daughter to listen in, and when the other person answered, he said, 'Hello. Is Melvin there?' Back came the answer, 'There's no one here named Melvin. Why don't you look up numbers before you dial them?' The father waited a moment, then re-dialled the number. 'Hello. Is Melvin there?' The man yelled, 'I just told you there's no Melvin here! Don't call this number again!' then slammed down the receiver. The father looked at his daughter and said, 'Honey, that was anger. Now let me show you aggravation.' He dialled the number again and when a voice roared back, 'Hello!' her dad calmly said, 'Hi. This is Melvin, have there been any calls for me?'

The word anger is only one letter short of the word danger. So ask God to help you manage your anger. He will!

Soulfood: 1 Chr 19, 1 Chr 20, 1 Chr 21, 1 Chr 22, 1 Chr 23:1-20, John 9:24-41, Ps 115, Pro 25:26-28


Forgive and set yourself free

'Forgetting what lies behind.' Philippians 3:13 ESV

The Bible says that the greater the offence, the greater the need to forgive your offender in order to go on with your life. Remember when you were growing up, how your parents would tell you to close the door? That's because in winter you were letting in the cold and in summer you were letting in the heat. Forgiveness shuts the door on your past! Paul, who martyred Christians before becoming one, writes, 'But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and those things which are ahead' (Philippians 3:13 NKJV).

Only when you release your grip on the past can you secure your grip on the future. Forgetting is a decision, one you sometimes have to make, daily or even hourly. Bottom line: you need to forgive every time the issue that's hurting you rears its head (see Matthew 18:21-22). Complete healing can take months or years. When someone hurts you deeply, you must purpose in your heart to keep forgiving them until you're free from their influence. No matter what they took from you through abuse, abandonment, betrayal, manipulation or deceit, bitterness will take more!

Like making a rod for your own back, unforgiveness lets the person who hurt you keep doing it. So until the issue is resolved, you may have to get down on your knees every day and pray, 'Lord, by an act of my will, I forgive ________ and ask you to bless them. I'm turning them over to you and getting on with my life.' There's no shortcut - it's the only path to freedom!

Soulfood: 1 Chr 16-18, John 9:13-23, Ps 105:1-15, Pro 25:23-25


Look for teaching moments

'What do these stones mean?' Joshua 4:21 NIV

One of the most effective ways to teach is through 'teaching moments'. Jesus did that. When a fig tree didn't produce fruit, he cursed it and it immediately withered up. That got the disciples' attention (see Matthew 21:18-22 NKJV). Then he explained that unless you stay filled with God's Spirit, you won't be fruitful in his service. He could have taught this same lesson in the synagogue. But then his listeners would've had to imagine a fig tree, and the message would have been diluted depending on the ability of the hearer.

When three drunken high-school students crashed their car into a tree, the wreck sat in front of their school for several days. Every day the students had to look at it. That's called a 'high-impact teaching moment'. They say timing is everything. That's certainly true when it comes to learning the important lessons in life, so don't miss them! If you're a parent, it's futile to constantly 'preach' at your kids. If you're a leader, it's a mistake to keep 'lecturing' the people who are answerable to you. Let the experience speak! Then ask for their thoughts, and listen without interjecting! People learn more through discovery than dialogue.

That's why God instructed Joshua to build a monument of twelve stones on the other side of Jordan after he miraculously parted its waters so they could cross over (see Joshua 4:1-9). What he was really saying was, 'When your children ask what this monument is all about, use it as a teaching moment about my love and faithfulness.' So look for the teaching moments in life - and use them.

Soulfood: 1 Chr 12:23-40, 1 Chr 13, 1 Chr 14, 1 Chr 15:1-15:29, John 9:1-12, Ps 68, Pro 25:21-22

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