Old vs New Part 3

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Ephesians 4:25-28 Therefore, after you have gotten rid of lying, Each of you must tell the truth to your neighbor because we are parts of each other in the same body.  Be angry without sinning. Don’t let the sun set on your anger. Don’t provide an opportunity for the devil. Thieves should no longer steal. Instead, they should go to work, using their hands to do good so that they will have something to share with whoever is in need. 

This is a passage that seems to hit me right between the eyes. There are many times I feel scripture is actually trying to tell me something and is directly in my face about it.

“Be angry without sinning.” Ouch! How many times have I personally allowed feelings of anger to lead me to say things I do not really want to or act a way that I do not want to (Romans 7 is a great passage about this). How easy it is to just react and not think about the consequences. But there is a difference is anger. There is righteous anger and there is anger that is just plain wrong.

We all have been angry at some point in time. Some people even hold on to their anger and cannot see past the cloud that had formed. Righteous anger, on the other hand, is okay. Righteous anger is what Jesus displayed and set an example for. So, what is righteous anger? This is the anger that moves us to want a change in society. To work towards ending prejudices and unjust treatment of people. This is the anger that shows us that every person is valued by God and has been made in the image of God.

When we display this anger, we do have to be careful not to just focus on the issue at hand and try to change people’s minds. Change happens when we point people to Christ and allow him to change hearts. We must work toward changing the hearts of people and not just their attitudes. This means we should be passionate about directing people to Jesus and helping them see him. Righteous anger, can and should point people to the live that God is calling each of us to live which will point people to God Himself.

Jesus works to recreate us and to make us “new creations.” I pray we all can remember this and live in a manner that brings people to faith because of our actions, attitudes, thoughts and words. Christ is calling us to live differently and the power of the gospel is that it changes us from the inside out.

#TheGospelChangesUs

Published by

Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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