Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
“And don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Eph. 4:26 (NLT)
Two years ago about this time I was driving home from work. I was preparing to turn on the street I always turn on that leads to my house. I couldn’t that had big road construction barriers and coming out of a man hole, they had huge plastic sewers rigged that went across the street, across my neighbors yard front to back, down the creek and out of site. They needed to repair the underground sewer system from 30 years of deterioration and created a temporary above ground sewer system to divert everything while the cleaned and relined the underground one. It was supposed to be a three month project. It turned out to be a year and a half project. My home and neighborhood was surrounded by pipes and detours all that time. It was like driving through a maze to get home. It was not fun!
When we think of falling in love and then getting married, I believe that most people have wonderful romantic imaginations that precede these events. When the wedding comes and two people are married and begin to live their life together, there is so much that is wonderful, but there is also the process of two people becoming “one flesh.” There is an adaptation to be made. Two individuals that each had their own separate life, their own way of thinking, and their own way of doing things – their personal habits, their organizational styles, the way they recreated and relax, and their idiosyncrasies – these all have to go into a blending and adapting process that isn’t always easy. They are instructed by God to become two people joined together in God and by God to be covenant partners working together. They are to work toward a life that reflects God’s love, His will, and His purposes in the earth. They get on the same page as they adapt to one another. They adapt and learn to work together as a team that loves and respects and honors each other. They seek and live out God’s will for their lives together.
This is the goal. If they pursue that goal putting God in the middle of all they do, then God’s Holy Spirit speaks to their individual spirit. He teaches and instructs, brings correction and reproof (a loving scolding,) and helps them adapt and transforms them into a place of unity and love as a husband and wife and partners in the Lord. They will have learned to honor and respect each other. They will have learned to move from selfishness to preferring each other. Over time they will have learned each others strengths and come to appreciate and draw upon them. They will have learned each others weaknesses and be helpful, merciful, and give grace as they try to help each other improve in them.
Without God in the middle of their life; without God’s Word instructing them and without them yielding to the Holy Spirit of God, they’ll work things out in the flesh and fail. The romance and wonderful imaginations of a glorious life together with passionate love for each other will become nothing more than a pipe dream. Their pipes will be above ground and carry inconvenient detours that make life and marriage a task more than a great life together.
Life will also become a series of many angry moments and seasons filled with unforgiveness. Each moment or season will cause the laying down of another detour and maze to navigate. When two people are angry, they avoid eye contact. They avoid being around each other. They begin to change their normal course of life and create detours. Nothing becomes right until the detours are worked through and they won’t be worked through and the barriers removed until sincere apology and forgiveness is worked through. This takes two people yielded to God and especially one that is big enough to initiate it.
I am not telling on Renee. We talk and teach on this publicly. But in the beginning of our marriage, she was lacking at saying “I’m sorry” or taking responsibility for problems that she was responsible for. It would make me mad when she didn’t. But, and I mean this sincerely, I initiated the majority of our small battles. I was immature and somewhat of a hot head. So in most cases I was the one that needed to initiate an apology and say I was sorry. I was actually good at that. I had revelation that the word of God gave me absolutely no choice as a Christian, as a husband, and as a believer, but to repent, ask forgiveness, and forgive, and to do so quickly. And so I was quick to do so (most of the time.) This is no small thing with the Lord and I treated this command with reverence and respect. God puts it in His Word like this. Matthew 5:22 (NKJV) “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother (your wife or any believer) without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother (your wife or any believer) ‘Raca!'(you are worthless) shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” And, Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV) “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
These verses say a lot. Don’t be quick to get angry. This literally says casual anger can lead to judgment. That has to mean it can lead us away from God, into deception, and to the place where we cast away our salvation. It says calling someone Raca or worthless or stupid opens the door to Satan’s attack. We are also told, “Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Eph. 4:26 (NLT)
What’s the bottom line in all this? Learning to forgive and do so quickly – EVERY DAY! It’s a mandate! How do you do so when you don’t feel like it? The same way you win every battle in the Lord… The subject of tomorrow’s manna…
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.