Anger can wreak havoc on both the body and soul, but its tentacles reach beyond the individual and wrap around everyone in close proximity. Bitter outbursts and silent resentment are not just our own personal issues.
An angry spirit is contagious. It is passed from one person to another—and from one generation to the next. Workplaces can become tense environments full of caustic words and attitudes. Ire turns homes into battlegrounds of verbal explosions or silent hostility. Even churches suffer from malicious gossip and fights over personal preferences.
God created us to live in fellowship with others, but anger can poison our relationships. Tragically, those closest to us are the ones who suffer the most. Children learn to respond to life's situations by observing their parents' example. They then develop similar attitudes and patterns of behavior. We need to give serious thought to what kind of heart we are passing down to our sons and daughters.
Thankfully, God is in the heart-changing business. Just as we learn an angry person's ways by association, so we can learn right-eous ways by walking closely with the Lord. Christ calls us to come, learn from Him—and find rest for our souls (Matt. 11:28-29).
Which would you prefer: churning anger or Christ's peace? Both require sacrifice. To maintain anger, you might have to forfeit healthy relationships and a godly heritage for your descendants. But to acquire peace, ask God to help you leave your grudges, personal rights, and insults on the altar.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
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You can now read the Scriptures in Dr. Stanley's favorite teaching translation -- the New American Standard -- while learning the 30 Life Principles that have guided him for more than 50 years. The new NASB Life Principles Bible will enhance your personal study time through explanation of key passages, plus helpful resources like "Answers to Life's Questions," concordance, maps, and much more. Available in leather and hardcover.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.