The Devil’s Foothold

How do you react when you are angry? What thoughts run through your head? Are you ready to lash out at whatever or whoever is in the immediate vicinity? Do you know it is the devil who is prompting your behavior?

We all get angry from time-to-time. Someone wrongs us and we want to lash out. Something goes badly, we are running late, or we lose out on an opportunity. There are a multitude of reasons for our growing angry.

We’ve all been there. Anger hits and we want to punch the wall. Our girlfriend or boyfriend dumps us. Our team loses the big game, perhaps on a blown officiating call. Our vehicle has a flat tire in the rain. We’re running late to get to work, we get behind a slow-moving vehicle, and hit every red light along the way. We can all add many more reasons for our anger to flare up. Sometimes it gets to the point we simply want to curl up in the fetal position and cry.

If we are observing someone’s behavior when they are angry, our thoughts are predictable. We don’t want to be that person. We don’t want to get in their way. We think they should grow up and stop acting childish. We compare their actions to a two-year old’s temper tantrum.

Where does our anger get us? Nowhere good. Others think less of us when we react foolishly. Our friends either walk away from us or want to. We may drag others into our anger, making them angry and reacting badly toward us. Later, we feel guilty and ashamed.

How do we rid ourselves of such foolish behavior? First, we need to know where it is coming from. Sure, we can point to whatever or whomever we think caused us to be angry. But that isn’t where our reaction came from. Our negative reaction came from the devil. When we react badly out of anger, we have lost to the devil. He has won another battle.

When we feel anger coming on, we must train ourselves to stop. We need to assess the situation for what it is. No one single thing we may experience will cause the world to come to an end. Our next step is to pray that God give us the proper perspective.

If we’re running late, tomorrow we need to get up earlier or get moving sooner after we get up. If our team loses, we can look forward to the next game or next season. If we just lost a relationship, take time to heal and know there will be another one. Whatever the reason, the world will continue to spin and there will be another day. Look forward, not backward.

I pray we all reach out to God in times of anger. I pray we train ourselves to stop the negative reactionary behavior. I pray each one of us realizes it is the devil who is causing us to act childish. Defeat the devil. Win the battle over anger. Pray for God to intervene. Stop the madness. Don’t give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 4:26-27 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

Published by martypressey

Marty is a Pastor, retired Marine and dedicated Christian who has taught adult Bible classes and preached for 20 years. He currently serves as pastor of 3 United Methodist Churches. He believes being well-grounded in the Scriptures is key to living a better life. He brings a layman’s viewpoint to all his classes and sermons, helping others understand how to apply Scripture to their daily lives. When he sees others understand the message of a particular passage, it brings him great joy. He has seen his faith increase exponentially over the years; fully believing God has a plan and is executing it. He feels blessed to be part of that plan.

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