RELEASING ANGER AND BITTERNESS
While God desires that we recognize our anger and bitterness toward others, harboring those feelings and refusing to work toward the restoration of broken relationships is contrary to His will. We need to prayerfully confront and confess inner feelings of anger, and then surrender them to the loving healing of our heavenly Father.
God calls us first to confront our own feelings openly and honestly....
Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. Instead, be king to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving you because you belong to Christ.
Ephesians 4: 31-32 TLB
For, dear brothers, you have been given freedom: not freedom to do wrong, but freedom to love and serve each other. For the whole Law can be summed up in this one command: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always critical and catty, watch out! Beware of ruining each other. Galatians 5: 13-15 TLB
Look after each other so that not one of you will fail to find God’s best blessings. What out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives. Hebrews 12:15TLB
Anyone who says he is walking in the light of Christ but dislikes his fellow man is still in darkness. But whoever loves his fellow man is “walking in the light” and can see his way without stumbling around in darkness and sin. For he who dislikes his brother is wandering in spiritual darkness and doesn’t know where he is going, for the darkness has made him blind so that he cannot see the way.
1 John 2: 9-11 TLB
A man with hate in his heart may sound pleasant enough, but don’t believe him; for he is cursing you in his heart. Though he pretends to be so kind, his hatred will finally come to light for all to see. Proverbs 26: 24-26 TLB
Our heavenly Father calls us to work actively toward forgiving others and restoring broken relationships...
Your heavenly Father will forgive you if you forgive those who sin against you. Matthew 6:14TLB
I am warning you! “Rebuke your brother if he sins, and forgive him if he is sorry. Even if he wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, forgive him.” Luke 17: 3-4 TLB
Follow God’s example in everything you do just as much loved child imitates his father. Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to him. Ephesians 5: 1-2 TLB
But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive you your sins too. Mark 11: 25 TLB
Dear brothers, if a Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humble help him back onto the right path, remembering that next time it might be one of you who is in the wrong. Galatians 6: 1 TLB
When you forgive anyone, I do too. And whatever I have forgiven (to the extent that this affected me too) has been by Christ’s authority, and for your good. A further reason for forgiveness is to keep from being outsmarted by Satan, for we know what he is trying to do. 2 Corinthians 2: 10 -11 TLB
BEHAVIORS AND ATTITUDES
The Scriptures are clear that we are both responsible and accountable to God for our behavior and attitudes:
Yes, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14: 12 TLB
And I tell you this, that you must give account on Judgment Day for every idle word you speak. Matthew 12: 36 TLB
Your words now reflect your fate then: either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned. Matthew 12: 37 TLB
God tolerated man’s past ignorance about these things, but now he commands everyone to put away idols and worship only him. For he has set a day for justly judging the world by the man he has appointed, and has pointed him out by bringing him back to life again. Acts 17: 30-31 TLB
Remember, too, that knowing what is right to do and then not doing it is sin.
James 4: 17 TLB
God disciplines those He loves in order to bring about a change of behavior or attitude:
Being punished isn’t enjoyable while it is happening -- it hurts! But afterwards we can see the result, a quiet growth in grace and character. Hebrews 12: 11 TLB
And we will never stop thanking God for this: that when we preached to you, you didn’t think of the words we spoke as being just our own, but you accepted what we said as the very Word of God -- which, of course, it was -- and it changed your lives when you believed it. 1 Thessalonians 2: 13 TLB
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from you own experience how his ways will really satisfy you. Romans 12: 2 TLB
When we submit to the loving discipline of our Heavenly Father, He is faithful to lead us toward righteousness:
But if we confess our sins to him, he can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. (And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.) 1 John 1: 9 TLB
Do not let sin control you puny body any longer; do not give in to its sinful desires. Do not let any part of your bodies become tools of wickedness, to be used for sinning; but give yourselves completely to God -- every part of you-- for you are back from death and you want to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for his good purposes. Sin need never again be your master, for now you are no longer tied to the law where sin enslaves you, but you are free under God’s favor and mercy. Romans 6: 13-14 TLB
If you have really heard is voice and learned from him the truths concerning himself, then throw off your old evil nature -- the old you that was a partner in your evil ways -- rotten through and through, full of lust and shame. Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better. Yes, you must be a new and different person, holy and good. Clothe yourself with this new nature. Ephesians 4: 21-24 TLB
But when the Holy Spirit controls our live he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws. Those who belong to Christ have nailed their natural evil desires to his cross and crucified them there.
Galatians 5: 22-24 TLB
And I will give you a new heart -- I will give you new and right desires -- and put a new spirit within you. I will take out your stony hearts of sin and give you new hearts of love. And I will put my Spirit within you so that you will obey my laws and do whatever I command. Ezekial 36: 26-27 TLB
God helps us to establish healthy boundaries through His strength and guidance. Proper mental, emotional, and spiritual boundaries enable us to focus on God’s love for us, as well as the ways in which He can use us to better serve the Body of Christ.
When personal boundaries are weakened from turmoil...
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us -- they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5: 3-5 TLB
He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord! Trust in the Lord God always, for in the Lord Jehovah is your everlasting strength. Isaiah 26: 4 TLB
I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world. John 16: 33 TLB
For the Scriptures tell us that no one who believes in Christ will ever be disappointed. Romans 10: 11 TLB
Establishing boundaries under God’s direction...
Lord, I am overflowing with your blessing, just as you promised. Now teach me good judgment as well as knowledge. For your laws are my guide.
Psalms 119: 65-66 TLB
In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. Proverbs 3: 5-6 TLB
So ever since we fist heard about you we have kept on praying and asking God to help you understand what He wants you to do; asking Him to make you wise about spiritual things; and asking that the way you live will always please the Lord and honor Him, so that you will always be doing good, kind things for others, while all the time you are learning to know God better and better, We are praying, too, that you will be filled with His mighty, glorious strength so that you can keep going no matter what happens -- always full of the joy of the Lord, and always thankful to the Father who has made us fit to share all the wonderful things that belong to those who live in the Kingdom of light. Colossians 1: 9-12TLB
I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress. Psalms 32: 8 TLB
God’s continuing work in our lives...
And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in His grace until His task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns. Philippians 1: 6 TLB
It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago He planned that we should spend these lives in helping others. Ephesians 2: 10 TLB
I am expecting the Lord to rescue me again, so that once again I will see His goodness to me here in the land of the living. Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and He will come and save you! Be brave, softhearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and He will help you. Psalms 27: 13-14 TLB
Respecting the boundaries of others...
Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing. Philippians 2: 3-4 TLB