Speak when you?re angry and you?ll make the best speech you?ll ever regret?.Laurence J. Peter
Uncontrolled anger is not a pretty thing. Listen as I discuss some very revealing parts of my own life dealing with this issue.
Then he went back in the meeting place where he found a man with a crippled hand. The Pharisees had their eyes on Jesus to see if he would heal him, hoping to catch him in a Sabbath infraction. He said to the man with the crippled hand, ?Stand here where we can see you.?
He looked them in the eye, one after another, angry now, furious at their hard-nosed religion. He said to the man, ?Hold out your hand.? He held it out?it was as good as new! The Pharisees got out as fast as they could, sputtering about how they would join forces with Herod?s followers and ruin him.
?Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can?t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can?t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
?I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you?re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can?t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is?when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn?t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God?s kingdom.
But what happens when we live God?s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard?things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
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