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For Home Educating Parents

(Fourth in a series on anger)

Diane Rodd

This pamphlet is the continuation of earlier pamphlets entitled, "Dealing with Anger", "Conquering Anger", and "The Way Out of Anger". Family relationships (parents to children, between parents, and between children) are meant by God to be sources of joy, fellowship, and encouragement in the faith. However, the enemy who comes to "kill, steal, and destroy" wants to use the lusts of the flesh to make these relationships sources of frustration, hatred, and discouragement. This pamphlet describes a personal journey of discovering Biblical answers to developing family relationships free of anger. A crucial part of these answers lies in speaking the truth correctly and consistently.

Anger-Free Relationships

for Home Educating Parents

(Fourth in a series)

Families Honoring Christ

"But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart
and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

Earl & Diane Rodd
6044 Pine Creek St. N.W. North Canton, OH 44720

Phone: (330) 305-9318

4th edition - July 1996

5th edition - May 1998

Permission is granted to copy this article for personal sharing
but not for sale or other commercial purposes.

FHC is an Ohio based ministry providing information, encouragement
and fellowship to Christian families, natural and spiritual.

Unless otherwise noted, All Scripture quotations are from the

New American Standard Bible, Copyright 1988,

The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

See fhc.rodd.us for further information including online versions of this and other booklets. Additional copies of this booklet may be ordered from FHC by writing to the above address. A full listing of other books and booklets on related topics is also available from FHC at fhc.rodd.us.

Anger-Free Relationships

for Home Educating Parents

As I was reading my Bible this morning and praying, I felt the Lord was saying things to me concerning who we are in Christ. I don't know if it will help in your relationships with your children, but I pray it does. All children need discipline, training and instruction to be done totally in love, and we parents often have trouble staying in the love of the Lord.

Ephesians 4:17
17. This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,
18. being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
19. and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

These verses from Ephesians point out something very significant about those who are not born again (I was also meditating upon these in reference to our political leaders). However, there is a regression of behavior that begins with a hard heart that may ensnare believers.

  1. hard heart
  2. ignorance
  3. become callous (must be worse than a hard heart)
  4. give yourself to sensuality (give in to the 5 senses)
  5. practice impurity
  6. greediness (self rules all)
Those who fit the above pattern find themselves in this state.
  1. futility in their mind
  2. darkened in understanding
  3. alienated from the life of God
The last one is the key. It is only in our relationship with God that we find answers to our problems. Whether it is the government on a large scale or the family on a small scale, if we are not walking in a close relationship with God, we will have no answers to what we are facing. However, the solution is to find the root, and the root in this passage points to a hard heart. I know when I have a hard heart toward one of my children. I have also seen my children have a hard heart toward one another and to me. No matter what another does to me - I am never allowed to have a hard heart. If I tolerate a hard heart, I begin a downward spiral that will eventually alienate me from God. The Lord wants me to deal with the hardness of my heart by continually coming to Him in repentance until the truth of the NEW COVENANT - a heart of flesh; one in which He has written His laws by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit - is a reality and experience in all my relationships. When I have nothing good to say about a child or someone else, then I know I am in danger of having a hard heart. The words that come out of my mouth or the tone of my voice is always my indication of the condition of my heart just as Jesus said it would be. The enemy wants to discourage me when I keep hearing my thoughts or my words coming out of my mouth, and he wants to lock me into a cycle of condemnation, guilt and depression so that I am prevented from listening to the truth of God's word about a situation. This is deception to think I can ignore one area of my life that doesn't exemplify the kingdom of God. One bit of leaven (hypocrisy) spoils the whole lump of dough. My responsibility before God is to continually come to Him until I am changed. When I am changed, when I get the speck out of my own eye, then I can see clearly to help another. This is diligence and hard work and needs much consistency. It is the FEAR OF THE LORD that brings a person to this place of solely depending upon the Lord for every bit of change in the heart. He desires truth in the innermost part of my being, and He promises to place wisdom deep down inside of me (Psalm 51:6).

Ephesians 4:20
20. But you did not learn Christ in this way,
21. if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,
22. that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,
23. and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
24. and put on the new self, which in {the likeness of} God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

These verses make it very clear that God expects something different from those of us who are born again. However, again we see an order in how we are to live. There is a progression that leads up into light instead of a regression that leads down into darkness.

  1. Hear Jesus' voice.
  2. Be taught by Jesus Himself.
  3. Truth is found only in Jesus.
  4. Lay aside my old self.
  5. My old self is continually being corrupted by the lusts of deceit.
  6. Be renewed in the spirit of my mind.
  7. Put on my new self.
  8. I have been created righteous and holy.
  9. Righteousness and holiness is only found in Christ who is truth.
The foundational stone of being born again and being a new creature is hearing the voice of Jesus. If I ignore step one, I do not progress along this ladder. A hard heart refuses to listen to the voice of Jesus. A soft heart keeps coming to Him over and over to hear His voice and to find the power to obey what He is saying. My heart may be hard in only one area, but that one area if not attended to properly according to the Word of God will eventually spread to my whole heart, and I will be walking in total deception. Every bit of hardness no matter how painful to face must be faced and brought before the Lord for Him to conform me to the image of His Son.

The following verses from Ephesian shows us how to do this.

Ephesians 4:25
25. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, \speak truth, each one\ {of you,} \with his neighbor,\ for we are members of one another.
26. \Be angry, and\ {yet} \do not sin;\ do not let the sun go down on your anger,
27. and do not give the devil an opportunity.
28. Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have {something} to share with him who has need.
29. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such {a word} as is good for edification according to the need {of the moment,} that it may give grace to those who hear.
30. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
32. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

  1. Lay aside falsehood. I have found that the only way I know to do this is to be in the Word of God day and night. The more mature I become in God the more I find I have to be in His word! I can never coast. If I try to, I stumble badly. The truth is found in Jesus, hearing His voice, allowing Him to teach me. The only way I know to do that is to spend time in His written word waiting for Him to give me revelation into my specific situation or problem. If I refuse to lay aside falsehood, if I refuse to know the truth, embrace the truth and put off the lie, I can never know freedom. Sickness for me in 1991 and 1992 was a lie, and I had to put off that lie almost every minute of every day. However, the truth of Jesus eventually overcame the lie, and I am now free. This principle is true for sickness, sin and poverty. All these are lies of the devil, but it takes daily fortitude and diligence to come to God moment by moment to expose the lie, lay it aside and pick up the truth until that truth totally defeats the lie. Jesus is that truth. Jesus is not sick, he is not sinful and he is not poor. Thus when I receive more of Him, I am not sick; I am not sinful; and I am not poor. He provides all my needs but not all my wants.!!!! When the desires of my heart match His heart, I find He also gives me the desires of my heart. Obedient children is one of the desires of my heart, but for me to have obedient children there is much the Lord has to do in my heart. Every lie inside of my heart and mind must be replaced by God's truth and compassion. It is not easy to face the fact that I do not like one of my children or all three of them. If I face this lie and allow the Lord to show me how to overcome this lie, I discover I really love this child, and it is only my selfishness that is causing me to react to that child in the wrong way. I have to deny myself (put off the old self), take up my cross (embrace God's will, His word, His attitude) and follow Jesus (obey what He is telling me to do). This is the gospel - I can be different!! I do not have to live apart from Christ, but I do have to do everything His way and not my own.

Ephesians 5:1
1. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
2. and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

The above passage again makes it very clear what God expects us to do. To do anything less means we are walking in darkness and not allowing Him to give us a soft heart.

  1. Lay aside falsehood (Get rid of every lie that doesn't match God's word)
  2. Speak truth to one another (spouse, children, friends, relatives, neighbors, politicians, etc.) We can't do this unless we know truth, and we can't know truth unless we know Jesus and are listening to His voice and repeating what He is saying.
  3. Be angry (Lies should make me angry. My anger must be toward the sin - the devil - and not toward the person through whom the devil may be using at the moment to tempt me to sin. I have to have clear sight to help another. If I respond with sin, the Holy Spirit has no one to work through, and satan gets his will accomplished rather than God.
  4. Never go to sleep with unresolved anger. I find I can't sleep if I am not at peace with God about a situation that is causing me to be angry. It may take me months or even years to find that peace, but I know in my spirit (even if no one else can discern it) that I do not have peace about something. God's word tells me that I can achieve this every night if I want to. His word tells me that I am going to have plenty of opportunities to be angry. How I deal with that anger on a daily and nightly basis will determine if I keep my heart soft or if I allow my heart to become hard and callused.
  5. Never give the devil an opportunity to keep me in anger over night. If I do, I am headed for trouble.
  6. Never steal. I believe this means I am to hear the voice of Jesus for myself. Trying to live on what someone else heard from Jesus doesn't prove strong in the heat of the battle. Others' teaching can help me hear Jesus for myself, but my ability to submit to God and resist satan with total victory depends upon my receiving revelation from Jesus Himself. It is this revelation that I can share with others to encourage them, but they still must hear Jesus for themselves.
  7. Nothing unwholesome is to come out of my mouth. Only those words which are good to edify (speak the truth) for that particular situation will produce good fruit. Now this is hard. If I can't say what God's word says about the situation, then I need to be silent. This is denying myself; this is laying my life down for another; this is laying aside the old self. If words come out of me without my being able to stop them, then I need Jesus to deal with whatever is in my heart. I have to be ruthless with myself on this issue. If I am not, I am a hypocrite. I have leaven (sin) that will spoil everything. The purpose of my mouth is to give grace to the one who is within the sound of my words. Sometimes it takes me weeks of coming to the Lord before I know what words of grace I am to speak. I desire to speak the word of God rather than my own words and thoughts, but I don't always do it in every situation. I have to come to God when I don't do it and find out why and then learn to do it in that new situation as well.
  8. I am not to grieve the Holy Spirit. He is grieved when I don't let Him say what He wants to say. When I say what I want to say, I quench Him, and He is saddened. Just like I get sad when I hear my children say things that I don't want them to say, the Holy Spirit responds the same way to me when I say things He doesn't want me to say. Cultivating a relationship with the Holy Spirit so that I do not grieve Him is the most powerful and effective way to live on this earth. If I deny myself and give the Holy Spirit the freedom to say and do what He desires, God's kingdom comes down from heaven to earth in my particular situation. If I give into my own words and thoughts, satan's demonic realm has free reign. My mouth and words determine whose kingdom gets to rule in that particular situation. If one of my children provokes me to respond with satan's words rather than the words of the Holy Spirit, that is not my child's fault. It is my own problem, and I must deal with my self. I must love God and my child more than I love my own thoughts which are really satan's deception and lies. I must love others enough to speak God's words to them in His tone of voice and not have any of myself in it. Anything short of this as my goal and I am a hypocrite. I may fall many times, but each time I fall, Jesus teaches me something more about how to overcome. He adjusts, and I obey, and I walk in freedom again.
  9. All bitterness must be dealt with. Jesus said I must forgive 70 x 7 and that is 490 times a day! If I don't, God won't forgive me!! Perhaps we mothers need to keep a list of how many times a day we do actively forgive and see if we ever get to 490! If I don't forgive, I go to sleep with my anger, and the next day is worse than the day before. Forgiveness must be immediate right when the disobedience is happening. If I hold on to it, I will hear the tone of my voice a little later, and my words will not be God's words. I must refuse to give the devil any opportunity at this moment.
  10. Wrath must not be allowed. I must deny myself this emotional response. If I give in to it, my soft heart is being hardened. Only God is allowed this kind of emotion. Wrath means I want the person DEAD! Only the Lord knows those who will spend eternity apart from His precious presence. I can never want someone dead. If I have that emotional response, I must deal with it daily until it is replaced by a soft heart. I have wanted wrath in much of my response to political leaders. The Lord has had to work deeply in my spirit before I could speak out the words that He wanted. It has taken much time and much study in His presence meditating upon His word to receive His perspective, but it has been worth it. I knew I wanted them all dead, and I had to deal with that when David Gunn, the abortionist was shot. Out of that reality I heard what Jesus was saying to me about evil men who are deceived and deceiving others. I had to learn to recognize and deal with this kind of wrath towards my own children first before I could recognize and refuse its place in my heart towards evil men in our society. THE FAMILY - That's the training ground!
  11. Clamor must be refused. This is my responding with the same kind of behavior that my child exhibits. I must never come down to the satanic level of earthy, demonic wisdom. This is easy to do, but it's not much fun. Two sinners are going at it to see who can yell the loudest or say the most unkind things. This kind of behavior and slander caused me to get very sick. I didn't know how to combat it correctly when it started happening, but the Lord knew how to bring me through it and He did! I know now that when someone speaks a lie about me and I hear it, I have to speak the truth about myself out loud right when I hear the lie. When I did not do that, I was deceived and suffered physically for it. However, the Lord has taught me much. His voice in every situation is always the key.
  12. Slander is deadly. Slander occurs when I seem unable to say anything good about my child or others. It is better to be quiet unless I can say the negative in a positive way. If I say the negative, I must have a statement of faith that also shows God's answer to the negative. When I only respond in the negative, I am giving the devil an opportunity to do more damage. Gossip and slander is the satanic counterfeit of testimony. When the Lord is doing incredible things in my life, when family members are submitted to the Holy Spirit, then we have a testimony to share with others. When I am not thankful or rejoicing in our times of testing, I often end up gossiping or slandering the character of the one who is causing me the most difficult time in my time of testing. This locks me into a cycle in which I am never able to have a testimony of what the Lord is doing because I am too busy repeating what the enemy is doing. Thus slander or gossip is a counterfeit used by the enemy to keep me from having a solid testimony which promises to help me overcome satan. I am allowing the lies of satan's kindgom to possess a stronghold in my life and thus infecting my family with his wickedness. It is my reponsibility to remain thankful and joyful or seek the Lord until He can show me the way of escape out of this temptation.
  13. Malice is practiced when I overtly do things to cause another harm. It is more than slander. It is overt acts. When this is occurring, the heart is really callused. We see this in the approach of many political leaders to dedicated, committed believers. They have much malice towards the righteous. God will deal with them when He chooses, and we must continue to ask for mercy in the midst of wrath and judgment. As far as I know, I have never had malice towards anyone. That is a beautiful place of freedom to find myself, and I pray that the Lord will keep me there.
All of the above are to be resisted, put away from us, not allowed to have any control over us in anyway. If we deny ourselves (and satan), then we must replace it with something else. The following verses tell us what to do.

Ephesians 5:1
1. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
2. and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

  1. Imitate God. Act and speak just like Jesus. Let Him show you how and tell you how.
  2. Walk in love. Give yourself up just like Jesus did on the cross. This is the gospel. I often ask myself, "What am I holding onto?" It's worthless when compared to the character and beauty of Christ that I can have if I let go of myself.
The following verse again makes it clear what we are to refuse in our lives.

Ephesians 5:3
3. But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
4. and {there must be no} filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
5. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7. Therefore do not be partakers with them;
8. for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light
9. (for the fruit of the light {consists} in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
10. trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

The following are to be avoided. They are not to be part of anything I do or say.

  1. No immorality. This means I must know what immorality is. I can't avoid it if I don't know what it is. Jesus made it very clear - I can never allow any lustful thoughts concerning anyone - past, present or future. Jesus' concern for the thought-life is much more restrictive than the outward behavior of the Ten Commandments. Obeying evil thoughts means others will know that I am immoral. I only have the right to speak into someone's life whose outward behavior I can see (liars, thieves, gossips, cowards, homosexuals, lesbians, etc), if I am confident before the Lord that my thought-life is free from all the same kinds of immoral thoughts. That is where holiness must come first - in the thought-life; then my holy walk is easy for others to see. The pull of TV, movies, video, magazines, etc. falls into this category. If I do not have lustful thoughts, those areas of entertainment have no hold on me. I don't have to resist them. They aren't interesting to me at all. When there is a stronghold in these areas, the outward behavior must be forcibly resisted until the thought-life or mind can be renewed. It is called FASTING. Fasting doesn't just apply to food. It applies to those things I must live without until they have no hold on me.
  2. No filthiness, silly talk or coarse jesting. These kinds of words just have to be eliminated. How do I know if this kind of speech has power over me? I find it easier to engage in conversations that involve this kind of talk rather than GIVING THANKS! Thankfulness is to be in our speech at all times. We have to learn to be thankful for everything and everyone, and we may have to be silent a long time to get rid of the power of the lies of satan. FASTING words is very important. It is a denial of our own thoughts, our own way of being cute, of getting attention. God's word says get rid of silly talk. Replace it with words of thanks. I find it very hard to be thankful for political leaders, but the Lord is showing me how to not make fun of them or joke about them. It's not easy, but I know it is the way of holiness. I remember a long time ago when I was no longer allowed to make fun of Earl, my husband. I had a friend who did so all the time, and the Lord showed me that I did not respect Earl the way I should because I tolerated my friend's words and assessment of him. That change in my thought-life brought significant changes into our married life. The more I resisted wrong thoughts about my husband and found scripture verses to claim for him, the more he changed. He is nothing like he was in the early years of our marriage, but then neither am I! The same approach works with our children. I refuse to say anything negative about my children unless I have a positive thing that God has shown me about them as well. This is an attitude of being thankful for the person rather than wishing the person wasn't cauing me a problem. Making fun of a person, cutting them down, putting negative prophecies on them that doesn't match God's word (You'll never be any different) is very evil to me. I don't know when exactly the Lord showed me how evil He saw it, but I now resist it wherever I see it. Parents have to be very careful of the negative attitudes they harbor in their hearts towards their children. I don't think anything else is as important as getting rid of silly talk and joking that wounds people. It is not funny; it is a subtle deceptive tool that satan uses, and the world is full of it. I'm beginning to have a new approach to the world. If the world does it, I don't want any part of it. I usually discover that it is something the Word of God instructs me to avoid anyway!
  3. Immorality, impurity, covetousness (wanting what others have) all are to be absent in our lifestyles. This is equated with idolatry because the person is serving SELF rather than the LORD.
  4. We are to look out for empty words; that means words that don't produce good fruit. Empty words of the world are deceptive. They appear to mean something, but they aren't eternal. These words lead us into disobedience, and God's wrath comes upon those who are disobedient. The kingdom of God which is righteousness, peace and joy are reserved for God's children who are obedient. I can always tell when I am deceived or disobedient because my joy disappears. I have no peace, and then I start to wonder about my righteousness. I have discovered that if I stay in God's presence during one of these times, He is faithful to show me the way out of my temptation. He will show me my disobedience or my deception and show me what to put in its place.
  5. Then I walk in the light.
  6. Light which characterizes God's kingdom has fruit.
  7. That fruit is goodness, righteousness and truth. I made a decision once when I had foster children that I would have to be the right kind of example for them. I didn't know as much as I know now, and I have apologized for the mistakes I made, but I do know one thing, I lived as honestly before them as I knew at the time. I took "partiality" very seriously because I did not want them to think I loved Joel, my first born, more than I did them. I saw that God was not partial. That lesson has proved very valuable to me in my walk on earth. Parents think they aren't partial, but they can be, and it is devastating. Each child must always be treated exactly with the same tone of voice, touch, discipline, instruction etc. The words may be different because each child is different, but each child must know each child is loved equally. This is the love of God that we must release to them. "Partiality" to me is the opposite of truth. That is why I hate it so much. "Partiality" is the opposite of justice and kindness. The rejection, isolation, and withdrawal partiality produces is painful beyond description. I suggest that if your heart speaks to you in this area that you do everything you can to deal with it. It is deadly and will only bear evil fruit in a family.
  8. We have to learn what pleases the Lord. We have to be taught by Him what He likes and dislikes.
The Old Testament says the same thing

Zechariah 8:16
16. 'These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates.
17. 'Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,' declares the \Lord\. "

Colossians 3:1-17 says all the same things, but it shows us our position or the condition we must meet.

Colossians 3:1
1. If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
3. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
5. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
6. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come,
7. and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.
8. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, {and} abusive speech from your mouth.
9. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its {evil} practices,
10. and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him
11. --{a renewal} in which there is no {distinction between} Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
12. And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
13. bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
14. And beyond all these things {put on} love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
15. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
16. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms {and} hymns {and} spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
17. And whatever you do in word or deed, {do} all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

  1. We have to be raised up with Christ. We have to know that we have died and are now resurrected! We are living by a different power (the person of the Holy Spirit) than when we were dead in sin.
  2. We have to set our mind on God's kingdom rather than the thoughts and ways of the world or our old nature.
  3. The truth is I am dead, and I am now hidden with Christ. It is futile and foolish to hold on to the dead me. The new me is much more fun and exciting.
  4. The old me is all the junk of the world:
    1. immorality;
    2. impurity;
    3. passion (emotions control me);
    4. evil desire (anything which is contrary to God's will);
    5. greed (selfishness which is the same as idolatry); I worship myself and want things for myself. I have to deny all that and trust that the Lord will provide for all my needs and will give to me what He knows is best for me.
    6. I must put this all aside because if I walk in this, I am under God's wrath. I lose His presence, His sense of protection is not there, and I am very insecure and frightened.
  5. We must put aside
    1. anger;
    2. wrath;
    3. malice;
    4. slander;
    5. abusive speech;
    6. I must put this aside because God says it is evil. From these evil ways I have to turn away. I must not give them any place in my life at all. I have to deny myself to do this, but if I don't, I am lying to myself and to my family and to others.
  6. I have to put on my new self. It is a conscious decision just like when I select the clothes that I wear or the food that I eat. It is the same kind of decision, and I am not allowed to please myself. I am to please God. I can do so because His word says I am holy and beloved. I put this on and treat everyone the same. No one is to receive different treatment from me. I refuse to be partial. So I put on
    1. A heart of compassion;
    2. Kindness;
    3. Humility;
    4. Gentleness;
    5. Patience;
    6. I bear (put up with) everyone, and I forgive everyone who is complaining about anyone!!!! That is a tall order. Whenever I hear a complaint from anyone, my job is to forgive the one who is complaining and to forgive the one about whom they are complaining. This is not easy but Jesus said, "Father, forgive them they do not know what they are doing." This is the standard by which we measure ourselves. We don't compare ourselves to other people or even to ourselves. Jesus is our example.
    7. Love is beyond even all that I have discussed so far!!!
    8. When I walk in this kind of love, I then have the bond of unity that satan can't break. No matter what he throws against me, this kind of love can't be defeated; it can not fail. I have to have faith that if I walk in this kind of love, no matter how bad things now look, they will change. If they don't change in this earthly life, I have to believe that they will change for eternity. I may not see the fruit of my labor. Jesus didn't see it until after the power of the resurrection. He had a lot of faith hanging on that cross that Father's word would be true. We have to have that same kind of faith and love to walk in the same kind of resurrection power. Whether we like it or not, it comes by denying our old self.
    9. I must let Christ's peace (not my selfishness) have its place it my heart. How will I know it is operating? I will be thankful!
    10. I must let Christ's words (not mine) dwell within me and come out of my mouth. The following tells us what is to be in our mouths rather than all the other negative things this pamphlet has discussed:
      1. wisdom;
      2. teaching one another (my children, my neighbors, my relatives, my society);
      3. admonishing one another (the same as above);
      4. psalms;
      5. hymns;
      6. spiritual songs;
      7. singing;
      8. thankfulness;
How do we do the above? I have found a secret in my life that works very well for me and eventually produces good fruit.
  1. Be still and know I am God (Psalm 46:10). These were the first words that I heard the Lord speak to me. I didn't discover they were in the Bible until 3 years later! Be still, cease striving means to let go, relax, go limp, quit. I often quit. I have to go into my bedroom, shut the door, put on worship music and wait for God to speak to me. When I had a nursing baby, I often had my best times with God while nursing a small one. The changes in our family now force me to find time during the day to be with the Lord. Yes, I often have to walk away from a sinkful of dirty dishes, a kitchen floor that needs scrubbed, a desk piled high with correspondence that cries for a response, woodwork that needs scrubbed and painted, phonics that need taught, math facts that need to be reviewed, English assignments that need to be corrected, etc.
  2. I spend a lot of time in God's word. I have learned that my relationship with God must come first. Apart from Him I can do nothing anyway. If I continue to try to get something accomplished without His direct guidance and help, I only encounter further disaster. If I spend time with Him, all the other eventually gets done in His time and with my attitude totally changed and submitted to the Holy Spirit.
  3. I write down what God says to me. I keep a personal diary where I keep scripture references and the actual specific direction and guidance God gives me concerning my immediate situation. This provides me with two major weapons:
    1. I have a reminder of what God has spoken to me about this situation if the enemy tries to lock me into the same habit pattern again.
    2. I have a personal journal of my Christian growth that allows me to look back on seasons of my life and see the incredible changes the Lord has done in my by His grace. Rereading my journals always gives me a grateful, thankful and tender heart toward the Lord and His mercy towards me. I always come away from reading old journals with an incredible confidence and trust in God's faithfulness to me. This gives me the grace to trust Him for the current situation I now face.
  4. I obey what He says to me. He promises to provide a way of escape out of my temptation, so if I obey Him, I'll be victorious.
  5. If I can't obey, I keep bringing that inablity to the Lord until I discover what is keeping me from obeying. This process keeps me totally dependent on Him, keeps me humble and needing His grace, gives me a tender heart towards others who are having a difficult time overcoming a certain character flaw and gives me insight to share with others as I walk through this test.
  6. Then I obey no matter how hard it is. Obedience brings such love, joy and peace that it is very difficult to explain unless you experience it for yourself.
  7. When I fail, I ask for forgiveness through the blood of Jesus and wait until He shows me why I failed.
  8. I speak in tongues all the time. Whether I am working by myself or around my family or friends, I find speaking in tongues to myself keeps my spirit alert and connected to the Lord so that I have a better chance of saying what He wants said rather than my own words. Speaking in tongues keeps my mind in the heavenly realm.
May this prayer from II Thessalonians be for ourselves, for our children, and for those we pray for who are now outside of Christ. May the Lord be pleased to reveal Christ in all of us.

II ThessaloniansI Timothy 1:11
11. To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power;
12. in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd