brian shields 1

ANGER

BRIAN SHIELDS

Matthew 5:44-45

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

Stop and think for a second about that person that really gets under your skin. You know who he or she is. Got it? Is your blood boiling a bit? Okay, now pray for that person. “Pray for them?” you may ask; “No, all I want to do is punch them in the face.”

Maybe that person deserves a good sock to the face, but that is not your battle. Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for them. As you start to pray for those you dislike you will notice very quickly that your hatred starts to fade and is replaced by love, a God-given love. You’ll start to see the world through their eyes and understand that there is always some underlying issue as to why they are bullying you. It is sad really, not something that should anger you.

So pray for them. As you do, God will work not only on your heart and take away that toxic, life stealing anger but he will also work on their hearts. In place of your anger God will give you life-affirming love and peace that you can then share with those who persecute you.

QUESTION 1. Who are you angry with right now?
QUESTION 2. Have you tried to pray for them? Not just, “God change them,” but really pray for them and their hearts
CHALLENGE: Love your enemies and spend a week praying for them. You can pray for them longer than a week, but try that first. At the end, you will notice the anger and bitterness has all but faded away.