Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Soft Answer...{Finding Sanctuary - 5}

Dreamy light, delicate flowers, gentle and soft words and voice...
this mood is what I want to have reflected in my life...
there are boundaries, edges that define but don't wound with their sharpness...
firmness with beauty and grace and love extended - the image of Jesus...
a soft (gentle) answer turns away wrath...Proverbs 15:1

"softly, gently, we..."
How would you finish the sentence?

Photo processed with a levels adjustment, Kim Klassen's Isobel texture at multiply, a gradient light adjustment layer set to soft light and copied, the text in Vivaldi font.

Now, if you are interested in reading a bit of my healing from unhealthy anger, and some of what the Bible has to say about anger, continue on...otherwise...I hope you've enjoyed my attempt at photos filled with dreamy light!

If any of my siblings read this, I truly am just telling my own story...you may have a different perspective, and that is quite all right...

I grew up in a home with an alcoholic parent...I an confidently declare that while it wasn't what I would have chosen, God has been able to fashion good from it all.  Grace!  There is no more anger or blame concerning the resulting chaos and wounds, forgiveness has been achieved...and actually this was true before I started truly healing in the arena of my unhealthy anger!  You see, I had witnessed so much violence and rage (and been on the receiving end of some of it), that I had determined that ALL conflict and anger were not good and certainly not Godly!  And when I had stepped into the Spirit-filled life, I certainly thought that would never surface again, I believed it was dead and buried!  And figuratively so, it was!  But then, through our daily "quiet times", the Lord began to open my eyes to the fact that conflict and even anger wasn't ungodly, in fact, He was the one who brought it!  I was reading Galatians 5 at the time, and verse 17 specifically, where the conversation is that the Spirit and the flesh oppose one another...I began to understand that the Spirit opposes the flesh...and His gentle voice permeated...what does that sound like?  To me, it sounded like conflict!  But not the sort I was used to...so began my education about anger...tho' I had read it many times before, that God was slow to anger (Exodus 34:6), it dawned on me that if He could be angry, then anger wasn't a sin!  Before then, I must have just glossed over Ephesians 4:26 "Be angry, but do not sin..." .  I was on the journey of learning...that I could be angry and still be holy...

Then there is this verse from James"for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God."

So then I had to find that defining line...find the righteous anger of God and how to express my own, well, how to find my own even!  He knew it was there, and He wanted to "remove that mountain"!  So the beginning of the learning was accepting that anger could be a part of my life, and then it was time to define the boundaries of healthy anger...the definitions were to be set by scripture...

I did a search in the Proverbs for the word "strife", "anger", "quarrel" and made a list...(I will provide my little study tomorrow, plus the major study of words found in Ephesians 4:26-32)...the lines began to be defined as I read and contemplated the words...

I must say that a "backdrop" verse, words that were always the filter for all that I was reading, was Philippians 4:8:  Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. This verse, plus the Proverbs wisdom, taught me to look for the kernel of truth, the spark, the needs that were being expressed in outbursts of anger...and I could apply that to myself as well... The "theory" of righteous anger was being built...practical application and processing of the buried mountain was to come later...

So, to put it in "Step form" -
1.  Accept healthy anger as a part of being created in His image.
2.  Define the line by searching scripture - especially Proverbs -
      and meditating on it AND write your findings.
3.  Remember Philippians 4:8

to be continued tomorrow...


Older posts in this series:
The Journey begins
A new tool, part 2
A new tool, part 3 
A new tool, part 4

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