Referring back to the fact that believers in Jesus Christ have been created to be like God, righteous and holy, it was the Apostle Paul who wrote these words in Ephesians 4:25-27, "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold."
That text gives us two important principles of faith " two places to allow purity to rule your life.
Put off falsehood and speak in truth. We live in a day when spinning the truth happens more then telling the truth. The business world often makes the statistics look better then they are. In the political world policies are spun to make the politician look good. Even the church often spins the story at the cost of truth. Living in purity means you have the banner of truth about your life.
Ephesians 4:15, "Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is, Christ."
To grow up is to speak truthfully. Even if it makes you look bad, the truth will set you free. Free to face your own sin, free to deal with situations and free to speak honestly.
Jesus saw the hypocrisy in God's temple and he was angry. He ran out the money changers, he chased off those selling merchandise. Yet in his anger, Jesus never sinned. His was righteous anger. It was anger over a situation and he was in total control.
How that differs from the anger we see today. Daily we read about anger in the newspaper and the results that are not good. The Bible says, "be slow to anger because man's anger does not do God's work."
Often uncontrolled anger is the result of unforgiveness and bitterness. Anger is spurred on by insecurity. When someone exposes your flaws the response is often anger. Way too often anger is just excused.
It's his fault, it's her fault, it's because I'm Italian, I'm Irish. I have rage because of PMS or a full moon. All those are excuses, but Christians are not to excuse anger or to justify rage. Don't be like the woman who tried to defend her bad temper by saying, "I explode and then it's all over with."
"Yes, just like a shotgun," replied a friend. "But look at the damage that's left behind."
Anger leads to rage and out-of-control behavior. The devil will take hold of the emotion of anger more then any other. If you have a problem with uncontrolled anger, don't excuse it, deal with it.
Uncontrolled anger is not because of anything except that you allow it to reign over you. Uncontrolled anger is sin and like all sin it needs to be dealt with. It needs to be confessed, repented of, then it needs to die in your life. That will happen when you turn to God and allow him to change you.
To live a pure life is to live honestly before God and in your own heart. To live in truth and to live in self control, these are manifestations of a life fully surrendered to God.
n Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.