“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV
Have you ever experienced road rage? I was traveling one day and had to get onto an interstate. It was rush hour and the traffic was horrible. I had to merge quickly into the fast moving traffic. Although I thought I was moving at the pace of the other vehicles, I pulled in front of someone who wasn’t very pleased with me. The man accelerated, switched lanes and then came barreling around me, glaring the whole time.
Once he got around me, he moved back over in my lane and slowed down. Next thing I knew, here came a cheeseburger out of his window and it plastered on my windshield! It only stayed there a few seconds before it flew off, but it did leave some ketchup and mustard behind.
It seems very funny now, but at the time it really startled me. I felt I had done nothing wrong and yet someone openly exhibited anger towards me.
We live in a world where it doesn’t seem to take a lot for people to become angry with one another. It’s hard to live a Godly life, exhibit Godly behavior, while we are being attacked. Yet as Christians, God calls us to live a life free from anger toward others. We are to speak kind words instead of attacking with insults. We are to love others as ourselves, even going the extra mile to try to make things right with them.
But how can we do these things? Especially when we think we have been the one wronged?
- Remember Who’s we are. We are to be imitators of Christ.
- Remember What we are. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we become new creations.
- Remember When to act. We should be living Godly all the time, not just when we are being treated well ourselves.
- Remember Where we are going. This world is not our home. When we keep an eternal, spiritual perspective, we can live with joy and hopeful anticipation of what is to come.
- Remember Why we are to forgive. If Christ can forgive us, lay down His life for ours, then who are we to not forgive anyone else?
It’s not always easy to be patient and kind with others. When we fail to respond with love toward others around us, we leave marks on them, just like ketchup and mustard on a windshield. When we respond with Godly behavior, we not only are exhibiting the love of Christ toward others, we are keeping the “windshields” of our heart and life clean before Christ.
Dear Heavenly Father, Sometimes it’s really hard to not respond with anger when I am attacked. Help me to remember to allow You to live in and through me in every situation I may face. When someone shows me anger, may I respond in kindness. When someone treats me with malice, may I respond with compassion. Help me to exhibit Your love to all and keep my heart clean before You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
This blog appeared on Encouragement Cafe 12/9/15