Psalms 7-10; Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4:25-32 Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun set on your anger, and do not leave room for the devil. The thief must no longer steal, but rather labor, doing honest work with his [own] hands, so that he may have something to share with one in need. No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

We Americans are big on “self-help” books.  Paul succinctly shows us how we can help ourselves live a holy Christian life.  Taken out of context, one could interpret Paul saying we can live this kind of life through our own strength of will.  But we absolutely can’t.  Only through prayer and the gratuitous gift of God’s grace can we lead such a holy life.  Always speaking the truth is a particularly tough one in our increasingly seculary and tyrannically relativistic culture, with many individuals channeling bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling at the first disagreement.  Note that Paul says anger in itself is not sinful: anger is an appropriate emotion in the face of moral outrage.  It is where we let or don’t let anger take us is where sin comes in.

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