I threw horrible fits when I was little, and I still remember it like it was yesterday ... lying underneath my dad's piano crying and kicking and screaming. So I guess I've battled a hot temper since the very beginning.
I'm not quite as bad as I used to be, although I still have my moments
. I cringe when I think about all those times when I let my temper get the best of me. My problem is that I spend way too much time in the flesh.
And in the flesh I can't tolerate stress. In the flesh, everything irritates me. I react rashly and lash out with my tongue and oh, how the words can bite. In the flesh, I have no way to handle the pressure as it builds and no weapons with which to battle the impending explosion.
In the flesh, I get angry and I sin. And what a miserable life this is when we foolishly rely on our own flesh to keep ourselves behaving.
But then there's Jesus. And He left us with the precious gift of His Holy Spirit, our only hope of escape from this walking pile of skin and bones and idle words and temper tantrums. I am worthy and whole and effective, all for no other reason than because He dwells within me.
How He can take up residence with the likes of me, I'll never know. But the fact that He does makes me want to do better. It makes me want to renew my mind, to run after Him, to repent of my wayward impulses, to love with His heart.
It makes me desperate to walk in the Spirit
Because it's only by His Spirit that I can love the unlovable. Only in Him can I control my tongue
. Only through Him do I pause and take a deep breath before the storm hits. He reminds me that an outburst won't be worth it, and only by His grace can I proceed with discernment instead of reacting on emotion.
In the Spirit, I can get angry and sin not.
Lashing out in a fit of anger is never worth the hurt it causes, but I know He's my only hope for doing better. May we abandon our flesh and the sin that goes with it in pursuit of a life lived with a heart like His.