Time And Growth
Recently I read about an incident that occurred back in 2004. A fight broke out among the residents of a nursing home in their dining hall. One man was playing with the lettuce in the serving line with his bare hands. From that a fight ensued. A 62-year-old and an 86-year-old started to trade “punches.” Then a 79-year-old was bitten in the arm. The mother of the 62-year-old man was cut in the arm and a 92-year-old man was shoved to the floor as other residents ran away from the dining hall.
The point of sharing this story is that time and age does not ensure a person grows “out of” anger issues. We cannot hope that one day the wrath of a person is appeased because he or she becomes a certain age. The only way to grow out of any sin – is to grow more like Jesus. What we do in and with our time, is more important than how much time has expired.
Ephesians 4 clearly teaches how to replace the sin with righteousness and goodness. God can help you grow in these areas!
Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Please observe the first sin listed: Bitterness. Wrath, anger, clamour (outcry of grief), evil speaking (vile and blaspheme), and malice (badness) are all a result of the first sin: Bitterness.
Bitterness leads to faulty vision, angry thinking, and heated words. Time does not heal bitterness. Jesus alone can heal bitterness.
A life submitted to God will bring the hurts, pains, resentments, and seeds of bitterness to God and let God take care of them. When we hold onto our “rights,” our pride, and our bitter spirit, the bitterness sprouts up into a garden of deceit, pain, and turmoil that chokes out all the positive things God is doing in our lives. Nurturing bitterness ensures a garden of sin and grief is cultivated in a person’s life.
Replace the bitterness with forgiveness. Replace the anger and wrath with kindness. Replace the harsh words with tenderheartedness.
While some people seem to “mellow out” over time, it is not just because of the passing of days. Time alone is not enough to grow out of sin and to find healing from the control of sin. Growing in Jesus and learning to follow his example of love, compassion, and forgiveness is the only way to see victory over the sin of bitterness and anger. What we do with the time God gives to grow closer to Him is what really counts.