Journal Ps 4-5 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices and put your trust in the Lord.” (Ps 4:4-5)
Observation: Talk about a seemingly impossible task: In my case “angry” and “sin” are handshake buddies. Undoubtedly, I am of no character to have “righteous anger” and to start braiding a whip…
Analysis: I repeat: Angry and Sin go together in me like Peanut Butter and Jelly.
Here is the Holy Spirit, though, saying, “Be angry.” (Check. That one is easy, I can comply at the drop of a hat).
But He continues: “…AND do not sin.” In obedience to the Scriptures, be “something” and “not something” at the same time. If I think about this deeper, I am to cultivate anger and cultivate not sinning with the same effort on the same field of my heart.
Can this be done?
With God, nothing is impossible. Nada, naught, zero. All is possible in Him who is. “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27
So, looking at this from the guise of progressive sanctification, how can I address this? What is for sure for me at this point in my life (and maybe all my life), I must split the objective of learning about sinless anger into their component parts.
The second part of the reference scripture gives me clues:
- Ponder in your own hearts AND
- Be silent.
- Offer right sacrifices;
- Put your trust in the Lord.
Ponder in my own heart: I call it grinding on a subject and not in a good attitude. There must be a way to do this in a godly manner.
Be silent: Easiest because is just means to keep my pie hole shut—at a time when grousing, grumbling, and complaining is leaking all over the place.
Offer right sacrifices: I would if I knew what they were. Sacrifice of praise? Getting closer to the right start but praise of what?
Put my trust in the Lord: Probably the easiest to do with my mouth but the hardest to do with my heart.
Here is what I have decided upon to start the ball rolling: “…give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for (concerning) You.” (Eph 5:18) This one scripture, focused upon every day, begins the work on my attitude so that Ps 4:4-5 can be accomplished eventually.
Progressive sanctification is a plan, made in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, so that “progress is evident and seen by all.” (1 Tim 4:15) Am I discouraged? Heaven’s no. For I have the Lord God almighty to walk me through all of this.
Prayer: Lord, as I write this, make it fact in my daily life. Let my wife see it and comment upon it. I want the evidence of Your work in me to perceived by folks in and out of the Church. This only to honor You by walking worthy of the Gospel. AMEN