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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Day 26: Growing Through Temptation

Question to Consider: What Christlike character quality can I develop by defeating the most common temptation I face?

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Temperance is the avoidance of extreme personal feelings or self-restraint in behavior and expression. The most common temptation for me, which I just recently noticed, is to lose my temper. It's not really the "losing my temper" part, but it's the temptation to let negative thoughts have free rent...which leads to losing my temper.

Several times today I have been reminded that I need to be slow to anger. Not because anyone really saw me lose my temper, but because God had a way of making sure that I got the message. Now that I think about it, several times I've lost my temper and didn't even give it a second thought before I did it. I felt I had every reason for it to be okay to rant and rave, but now I can't even tell you one of them, except that I thought I would feel better. Of course, I didn't and neither did anyone else. After all was said and done, I made apologies and smoothed things over where it was needed.

Had I been slow to anger, I could have slept peacefully last night. Instead, I entertained all kinds of negative thoughts. Do we have pity parties because it makes us feel like we are a better person than the person who has wronged us? It's almost like a domino losing my temper, I was no longer meek, my faith flew out the window, goodness wasn't even a thought that crossed my mind, longsuffering was too long, peace and joy were no where to be found, but then there was love...that brought me back to my senses.

Pro 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

I went to the Lady's Christmas Banquet at church tonight. At the end, the Pastor's wife asked us each to take a Christmas tag and on the back of it write down what we were going to commit to God that we were going to work on in our lives, as our gift to Him. I made a commitment that I would work on my temperance.


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