“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18
There is much contest in the world about property; but believers, taking Christ for their only Property (a property of which none can dispossess them) have, in Him alone, immense treasures and lasting peace. And since, therefore, wrath and anger turn into nothing but disquietness and are punished by themselves, why do you, having so much to enrich and delight you, suffer yourself to be easily moved by them? The least provocation, it may be, even a single word, will stir up the corruption of your heart, so as to change your countenance and make you speak unadvisedly. But consider how God bears with you and what abomination anger is. It is the venom of the old serpent.
As for you, called as you are to bear the image of God and bring forth the fruits of the good Spirit, you must follow the lamb-like mind of Christ. For this purpose it is necessary:
- first, to avoid all occasions of strife;
- secondly, if quarrels arise, to bridle our tongues;
- thirdly, to suffer patiently when we are wronged;
- fourthly, immediately to offer up fervent prayer and thus to quench the sparks of fire before they break out into a flame.
This is the easiest and the only method to prevent great troubles and lead a peaceful, happy life; for anger carries in itself uneasiness, and love a sweet satisfaction.
Lord, preserve me from anger, wrath, clamor, and all that is opposed to the mind and temper of Your beloved Son!
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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