When I was praying and asking the Lord to work in a greater way in my family and ministry, He surprised me by challenging me to get serious about refraining from complaining and criticizing. Months later, I had made some progress in being more grateful and less critical, but I wasn’t seeing the Lord’s intervention the way I had hoped. When I asked Him about it, He impressed upon me that I was outwardly less angry, but I was often “seething within,” as the above Scripture says.
What is “seething”? It’s “being filled with an intense but unexpressed anger.” The Lord showed me that just because I didn’t express my anger outwardly, that didn’t mean that it wasn’t going to have dire consequences. As the verse above states, when we are “seething within,” we “cannot relax,” and as a result, “days of affliction” WILL “confront [us].” This kind of constant inner turmoil can lead to “afflictions” such as heart, head, and stomach problems.
What’s interesting is that the word “seething” is from an Old English term meaning, “to make or keep boiling.” The Lord showed me that if I didn’t want my seething resentment to reach a boiling point, I was going to have to deal with my anger at its roots. And that meant dealing with my thoughts. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Matthew 12:34 NIV) We can hide what is in our heart for a time, but eventually, our words will reveal how we really feel. When that happens, we can say things that have the potential to destroy our most cherished relationships – or keep us from receiving the promotions, opportunities, and rewards that the Lord had in store for us. God would rather help us to get to the root of our ungodly thoughts, so that they never bear rotten fruit.
When someone offends us, we can choose to dwell on it, and to feel sorry for ourselves. We can think about it over and over, until it robs us of our peace and joy, and perhaps, even our health. Or, we can choose to overlook the offense, committing it to the Lord, and trusting Him to right our wrongs. Proverbs 19:11 (AMP) says, “Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger, and it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment].” “Harboring resentment” will lead to us “seething within,” and that is never God’s will for us, because it is harmful to us. What is it that the Lord wants you to let go of today?
Prayer: Lord, today, I ask You to deliver me from a critical and complaining spirit, and fill me with an attitude of gratitude. When others hurt or offend me, help me to shake it off quickly, and to trust You to be my Defender and Vindicator. Teach me how to discipline my thoughts so that I never allow ungodly emotions or feelings to take root inside me. And guard me from “seething within,” which can rob me of my health and well-being. Thank You that as I cooperate with You in this area, I will experience the peace, joy, abundance, and wholeness that are my inheritance in Christ!
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