May 12, 2006

Trimming Loose Ends

Ephesians 4:20-32

Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Eph. 4:26-27


Once upon a time, a couple went to a marriage counselor. The husband complained, "Whenever we disagree, my wife becomes historical." The counselor interrupted, "You mean she becomes hysterical?" "No," replied the man. "I mean that anytime we argue, she drags up everything I ever did." When people get historical, relationships unravel.

In Ephesians 4, Paul urges his readers to take off the old self and put on the new self. The new life in Christ is like a new set of clothes. Things like honesty, hard work, kindness, and love form the fabric of this clothing. We need to take good care of our new clothes.

When you notice a loose end on a garment, you must deal with it. You don't want to leave the thread dangling, but it is seldom wise simply to grab a loose end and pull on it. You might unravel a lot of material and ruin your clothing. So, to prevent further damage, you trim the loose end.

Constantly tugging at a grievance can damage our new clothing in Christ and reduce us to the condition of the old, tattered self. But when we cut our anger short at sundown each day, we prevent the devil from taking hold in our new way of life and causing it to unravel. Instead, our relationships flourish, and our new self in Christ remains like new.

Lord, your anger lasts only a moment, but your favor lasts a lifetime. Make me like you. Help me not to stay angry but to begin each day anew. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — David Feddes

Dr. David Feddes is pastor of Family of Faith Church and provost of Christian Leaders Institute, which supports mentor-based ministry training through online courses. David is also adjunct missiologist for Crossroad Bible Institute, which provides biblical distance education to more than 40,000 people in prison. Previously he served as broadcast minister for the Back to God radio program, reaching people in more than fifty countries. David earned his Ph.D. in intercultural studies from Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL. He and his wife, Wendy, have nine children (one in heaven).

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