As I was reading the text message on my mobile phone, my temperature started to rise and my blood began to boil. I was on the verge of shooting back a nasty message when an inner voice told me to cool down and reply tomorrow. The next morning after a good night’s sleep, the issue that had upset me so greatly seemed so trivial. I had blown it out of proportion because I didn’t want to put another person’s interest before my own. I was unwilling to inconvenience myself so I could help someone.
Regretfully, I am tempted to respond in anger more often than I would like to admit. I constantly find myself having to put into practice familiar Bible truths, such as “Be angry, and do not sin” (Eph. 4:26) and “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4).
Thankfully, God has given us His Spirit who will assist us in our battle with our sin. The apostles Paul and Peter called it the “sanctifying work of the Spirit” (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2 niv). Without His power, we are helpless and defeated; but with His power, we can have victory.
I’m grateful, Lord, that You are at work in me. I want You to change my heart; please help me to listen and to cooperate with You.
For help with anger issues, read When Anger Burns at discoveryseries.org/cb942
The growth of a saint is the work of a lifetime.
Paul’s letters to the church at Thessalonica are among his most personal. In 1 Thessalonians, he expresses appreciation for the believers who have continued the gospel work he had begun (ch. 1). Paul describes his love for them in compassionate and caring terms (chs. 2–3) and ultimately offers them hope and comfort regarding both the present and the future (chs. 4–5). In his second letter, he continues with themes of care and concern as he offers encouragement in hard times (ch. 1), clarity regarding the Lord’s return (ch. 2), and wisdom for living out their faith (ch. 3). Amazingly, this deep bond of care and love was formed in a mere 3 weeks—the length of time Paul actually was with his friends at Thessalonica (see Acts 17:2). Bill Crowder