My Own Little World
Check Under the Hood
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman
"But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." - Colossians 3:8
"The root issue you are dealing with is fear. The physical symptom is control, and when you cannot control, you get angry because of unmet expectations." These were the words I spoke during a conversation in a restaurant to my friend who was separated from his wife. He described his anger and how he never saw some of these characteristics in his life until he entered this marriage.
A friend once said to me, "Anger is like the lights on a dashboard. They tell you something is going on under the hood. You must find out the source of the problem." Whenever we have expectations of another person and those expectations do not materialize, our tendency is to get angry. The source of the anger is often the fear that the unmet expectation will negatively impact us. We fear that our finances, our well-being, our image, or any number of things may be impacted by the unmet expectation. My friend's wife had not met his expectations in many areas of his life, so then, many times it resulted in harsh words that damaged his wife's self-esteem. Now, it was leading to a marriage crisis.
Jesus often spoke of living as though we were dead. How can you live as though you are dead? "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:11). It is a choice each of us must make. Once you become dead to that which stirs an emotion in you, God is free to change that situation. Until then, you can expect God to allow that situation to remain until you reckon yourself dead to the effects of the issue that causes you to struggle.
Is there something that causes anger within you? Ask God what the source of that anger is. You might be surprised at what you find. Then ask God to give you the grace to reckon yourself dead to that issue. You will find new freedom in your relationships and your own peace of mind.
Oh God, I want to KNOW You. You are so great and do great things. I want to spend more time with You. Help me to make time to sit before Your throne in quiet places, to read Your Word in order to know You more intimately, to develop an ear to hear Your voice so that I know when to turn to the right or to the left. I trust You to guide me in all things.
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders
Contentment in All Circumstances
Dr. Charles Stanley
Think about the times when you have felt truly satisfied. What caused you to feel that way? For most people, a sense of well-being comes when their environment is just the way they want it, but that wasn't the case with Paul. He learned to be content in every circumstance, good or bad.
We'd do well to learn a few lessons from him. After all, we can't avoid all difficult situations, so we might as well discover how to face them with a tranquil, settled spirit rather than with frustration and anxiety.
Contentment isn't governed by external circumstances. Changing the situation may bring temporary relief, but satisfaction based on circumstances will always be sporadic and fleeting. It's a matter of how you think, not what you have.
Contentment flows from an inward attitude. The apostle's inner calm came from a mind set on Christ. Choosing to trust the Savior no matter what, Paul allowed the Holy Spirit within him to rule his emotions and shape his responses.
Contentment is learned experientially. You cannot acquire it from a book or a sermon because it's a process that must be lived out. Paul learned contentment on the road—in persecution, suffering, and prison. The Lord used every difficulty to transform him.
Situations that cause frustration, anxiety, and dissatisfaction are also the ones God uses to produce contentment in us. When you are fed up with your own grumbling, disappointment, and dissatisfaction, then you are ready to let the Lord teach you His new way of living—in joyous trust!
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
My Own Little World -- Matthew West
By SIMPLY DIVINE LOVE on Wednesday, November 24, 2010