I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Brittney Smith
(WITHIN Devotional Writer)
In Disney's Moana, there is a mythical goddess that turns into a fiery demon when she is robbed of her "heart". The plot twist of the movie was finding out the beautiful Te Fiti was the same person as the lava monster Te Ka! Moana's gentleness was able to subdue Te Ka and remind Te Fiti who she really was, not what she had become. Moana sang these words,
“This is not who you are
You know who you are”
Lately, I’ve noticed how quickly I tend to get out of character due to anger. Anger is a valid emotion. The emotions that hide underneath anger like embarrassment, envy, regret, loss, disappointment are all valid too. Yet God, in His gentleness, acknowledges our anger and says, “Be angry and sin not...” (Eph. 4:26) Maturity is being able to experience our emotions and not let them govern our reactions. We’re all somewhere on this road to maturity. Wherever you find yourself I want to give you three simple reminders:
Pray before a situation arises. Yes, prayer is a part of the full armor of God. It is part of the battle plan and if done consistently it can put us on the offense rather than the defense. Making prayer a daily priority helps us to be battle ready before the emotions start to rage.
Pause when you see yourself getting angry. You may shake. Your breathing may change, but don’t feel pressured by your body or your mind to respond right away. People may notice you’re angry, but remember the goal isn’t to avoid becoming angry at all. The goal is to not sin while we’re angry. A momentary pause helps us re-establish self-control by intentionally slowing our breathing, our conversation and our thoughts.
Forgive others to be healed and freed from the hurt behind the anger. Forgiveness is not a one and done event. When we forgive we have to continue to choose forgiveness as often as our thoughts go back to what happened and try to rekindle the flame of anger.
Remember, anger is not who you are. That hurt is not who you are. Here is a short prayer, if you can’t find the words to pray for yourself:
Heavenly Father, may the Prince of Peace dwell in our hearts and minds continually. Keep my heart free from offense in daily interactions with co-workers, friends and family. Empower me to quickly forgive those who hurt me. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Hold back my tongue from sinning against you. Protect me in your Presence so I won’t be able to receive hurt from those I am called to serve. I am a child of God whose pleasure is to reflect the heart of the Father. Let it be so, in Jesus’ name amen.
The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
1 Corinthians 13:5
Questions to reflect on: