Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. (Psalm 37:8 ESV)
In the Lord’s prayer we pray to be delivered from evil. I always thought of it as an outside force. The big bad wolf, the boogie man, the wicked step-mother queen, the devil ( which is d-evil). But our negative thoughts can become evil as well, if we let them fester and brew inside of us.
It starts out with VILE. Something sticks in our craw, something that is just not right. We want immediate action- justice, revenge, a wrong to be made right. At that point, we have two choices. We can either turn it over to God or churn it around in our thoughts.
The longer the negative emotions stay with us, the more they will begin to cloud our outlook on life. We will become soured by them the way vinegar sours milk. I have known people whose perspective on life was seen through the shady lens of negativity, haven’t you? They see everything with a jaundiced eye, and if anything comes out of their mouth it is more than likely to tell you what is wrong – with the world, with the situation, with anything.
That is when that thought process to find the bad in everything begins to take over and EVIL seeps in. Yes, I believe there is a d-evil in this broken world. His name is Satan and he loves to see vile, because he can twist it into evil. Anger, hurt, jealousy, fretting – they can all be cracks in the door to let him in.
But I know my Lord and Savior has also ultimately won the war over good and evil. God says that vengeance is His. So is justice. We just need to reverse the process from negative to positive by turning EVIL into LIVE. Is there righteous anger. Of course. Jesus displayed that several times in the Gospels. But it is not an anger that allows vile to be the motivator – and by the way, He is God. We, however are not. Ask yourself the next time you get angry – what good will it serve? Will it be the catalyst to throw you into prayer, or the beginning of vile becoming evil? Will it spur you to ask God how you can be used in the situation, or give the devil a foothold?
It is so easy to see what is wrong with this world, with our h jobs, with our friends, our family, even our church. How much better though to see what is so right about the one who created it all. When you awaken in the morning, whisper the Lord’s Prayer. Ask God to deliver you from evil that day and turn it around to live – through His Son who gives life eternal.