Our scripture this morning is Ephesians 4:21-27.
“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”
We have heard the Good News and seen the difference it makes, in our lives and in eternity. Why then do we continue our former patterns of behavior toward each other? The chaos and raised voices we experience every day are not the way God calls us to live.
Paul tells us “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (v. 23). If we live as Jesus showed us, we can be made new, part of His ministry to all the earth. Paul says we can have a “new nature” (v. 24), but it is really the original nature in which we were created.
Perhaps the most important guidance in this passage, and the hardest for us to obey, is “not letting anger control you” (v. 26). Anger is a divisive and nonproductive emotion. Jesus taught us the way of peace, and we can all do better every day following His example.
Loving Lord, we have been shown what is right and good, but we still fall back into our old ways when we face opposition. Help us to speak and act with Your love, sharing a better way of living with all our brothers and sisters. Amen.