In Hebrews 12, Paul exhorts on faith and living for God. He reminded us that God will discipline his children, because of his love for us. Paul advised that we try our best to live peacefully. “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). In Romans 12, he also said that we should live at peace, as much as it is possible. This means that at times, peace may not be possible as some people are not at peace with themselves. At these times, we follow Abraham’s example when he chose to separate from his nephew Lot. “Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen” (Genesis 13:8).
Abram allowed Lot to choose from the surroundings lands, to settle with his family and servants. There are some instances when separation is necessary for peace. There are other occasions however, when this is not possible. This is when we need the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, to guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:6). Paul knew that as believers, it is difficult for us not to have experiences that will cause us to become angry. Having feelings of anger is not sinful, but our response to anger is what can lead to sin. “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27).
Although we become angry, we should not sin with our mouths and make sure that we don’t harbour It. Anger unresolved leads to resentment and bitterness. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31). Bitterness has roots in anger and hatred and these emotions are harmful. Anger opens a door for the devil to tempt us into works of the flesh.
We are human, is what we generally say, in response to acting out of character. We are to live in the spirit, so that we do not gratify the desires of the flesh. We have to constantly submit ourselves to God in order not to allow bitterness to take root. It’s like taking a shower daily. We don’t take a shower today and say tomorrow that we don’t need another one. We shower daily for hygiene maintenance, because our bodies become dirty. It’s the same thing with our spirit man and our hearts which can be deceitful. We daily consecrate ourselves and ask God to take away any anger, bitterness or resentment. It’s not easy, but God gives us strength.