Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Fits of Rage

The second common sin is Anger.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)

If you already have fits of rage and anger, you must confess it. But this verse is not telling us to confess our sins after we are bitter, or after we have fits of rage and anger. We are to get rid of it. They are not to happen in the first place. If they do happen, confess them. This is telling us that they are not to happen.

“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8)

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

This is a work of the flesh. There are several self-justifications for these outbursts.

1. “I was born this way.” Of course, you were born in sin like everyone else. But you were born again. You now have a new nature.
2. “I cannot help it. It just happens.” If you are a Christian, that is a false statement. All Christians can help it. You really mean “I can but I won’t.”
3. “I am patient with these irritations for weeks or months or years, then something small causes me to lose it.” You have deceived yourself again. You were not patient every time. You were impatient and called it patience. Therefore you did not confess it. The impatience kept building up, simmering in your pressure cooker. It was built up impatience; it was accumulated, unconfessed, unforgiven sin.

At the first feeling of impatience confess it as sin. You may be qualified academically, writing and teaching, but you are not qualified to be an elder, “not quick-tempered” (Titus 1:7).

You may love the Word, love the gospel, and are unashamed of Jesus Christ, but you do not love people in such a way that the people know you love them. But you say “That is not my personality.” The love of God transcends personality. The Fruit of the Spirit may not describe you except for “goodness and faithfulness.” That is not enough of the Fruit.

In the Lord Jesus Christ,

Jim Wilson

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