Devotions By Jan

Public Punching Bags

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Scripture for Today: Ephesians 4:26 “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”

Now the people walking the streets of Manhattan can vent their anger and stress right there on a corner.  Recently, a US Design Studio installed several public punching bags to give New Yorkers an outlet for their emotions.  These square yellow bags include a quote; “a healthy place for frustration.”  The New York Times reported what a Gallup Poll discovered last month, that Americans are the most stressed people in the world!  Anger, stress and worry are all at a ten year high.

Dealing with anger before it explodes is always a good idea!  Today’s verse recognizes an anger that is justifiably felt.  But that anger, if left to fester untreated, can easily turn into sin.  And even anger that is justified “does not achieve the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20)  Eventually, unresolved anger will rear its ugly head in relationships.  When left to boil over, marriages and families, friendships and business partnerships can become broken beyond repair.  Punching a bag (or pillow) may give temporary relief, but how much better to resolve it completely.

I am unable to resolve any kind of anger on my own.  I have a terrific memory for hurts and slights.  That sound bite in my head keeps playing over and over again.  But I can release and express that anger to the Lord in prayer.  Giving it over to Him does not shock Him.  He knows exactly what I am feeling and why.  Releasing it to Him is the only completely safe place to do it.  The Lord is powerful enough to diffuse my anger and help me to leave it behind.  To replace that anger with forgiveness is a true miracle!

Lord, thank you for diffusing my anger.

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