Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 14, 2020
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Romans 6:6
Recently I was speaking with a man at the doctor’s office. He said, “You know, I haven’t ever really struggled with being angry at people, but lately, I am just angry. All of the negativity in the world is making me angry, offended, and defensive toward others.”
As I walked away, I thought, “This is exactly how hatred, offense, and anger spreads. It’s contagious.” Ungodly emotions and beliefs get passed from one generation to the next, from one neighbor to the next, from one spouse to another, from the media to our families, and from one friend to another over a lunch conversation.
Thankfully (praise God!) every believer in Christ can help change the world by spreading goodness instead of hate. Like hate, offense, and anger, love is contagious too. And, we can spread love when we live by the Spirit and choose to do grace when we don’t feel grace, choose kindness when we don’t feel kindness, choose to love when we don’t feel love.
Galatians 5:24-26 says “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of the sinful nature to the cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, or be jealous of one another.”
I find it interesting that this passage is a call not to allow our emotions to master us, which is one of the greatest freedoms the Christian can experience. It’s a call not to allow ungodly emotions to rule us so that we act out in an ungodly way provoking one another. It’s a reminder that just because we feel a particular feeling does not mean we have to give into and live by that feeling. We are not to be mastered by ungodly emotions.
We can live free from ungodly emotions by being mindful of what is going on inside our hearts, by asking God to help us guard our emotions and to help us be intentional about what we speak, what we hear, and what we accept. In short, we can do this by cooperating with the desires of the Holy Spirit’s direction for us to live in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things.
To cooperate with God means that we sometimes must act out godly emotions even when we don’t feel them. This will help shape and transform our very hearts. What we put “out there” in the world will come rolling back to us, transforming our sinful man into the persons God created us to be.
And then, we will be a light to others to help them choose godly actions over ungodly emotions too. This is how the world is changed for good. One person at a time. One word at a time. One hug at a time. We all have the opportunity to do good and not to be led astray by ungodly emotions that spread from one person to another. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).
Lord, I can’t change the whole world, but the power that I have just by doing good each day is immeasurable. There is a ripple. Let me be part of a huge wave of love that passes from one person to the next. Help me not to allow ungodly emotions to rule me. Instead, let me be ruled by your Spirit. Amen.
Have you found yourself feeling angry, offended, or hatred for others? Confess to the Lord, then pray for others, yourself, and for God’s love to shine brightly through you.
Enjoy Boyd’s newest and well loved 40 day devotional book: Wisdom For Living. Wise living is all about the Lord Jesus Christ. What is His best? What is His will?
To cooperate with God means that we sometimes must act out godly emotions even when we don’t feel them. #WisdomHunters #freefromsin #truth #Jesus
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