THE NEW SELF

Tuesday, March 14th

READ: James 1:19-27

It is so easy to get caught up in the swift spirit of anger – and ultimately sin that comes with it. Even as Christians, saved by grace through faith in Christ, sin is an every day battle. The sly temptation of sinful anger, and the hardening of our hearts as a result, is perhaps one of the greatest markers of that. See, despite our salvation, we are still vulnerable to sin because we are still living in a broken world – and that broken world is a pool of temptation that so easily breeds anger.

That’s why James, the half brother of Jesus, explicitly and lovingly lays out the importance of self-control. The very first chapter of his book is a guidepost for reconciling the trials and temptations of living within a world marred by sin. He instructs us to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

He goes on to charge us not simply to listen to the Word of God, but to take action on it. Our actions as Christians should be a reflection of our faith and our convictions that we are sons and daughters of a loving, gracious God. Anger and bitterness simply do not produce the heart God desires in us. But a joyful, gracious heart reflects the love God already poured out on our behalf.

PRAY: Lord, make me alive with the joy and grace of Jesus. Remove attitudes in me that do not reflect You. Help me to lay down any bitterness, anger, and resentment within me.