Proverbs 16:32He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”

Some people are influenced dramatically by the littlest things.

Whether or not their sports team won.

Whether or not the weather is to their liking.

Whether or not someone shook their hand at church.

We make those allowances by choice.

You and I cannot control the weather, but, it does affect our spirit. Knowing that I can make sure my spirit is under the Holy Spirit’s control and not the weather.

My favorite basketball team is enjoying a run at the championship – but should they lose, the world will keep spinning; the sun will rise again, and the Lord still has works for me to do today. It is all a matter of perspective.

Have you ever considered your anger? Some are so quick-tempered that someone just looks at them in the slightest way negative – or perceived negativity, they fly off the handle. Others are annoyed at the littlest things. Still, others will remember a wound and dredge up that wound later with such vengeance, it was as if it had just happened.

Soon angry. Often angry and long angry.

The Bible tells us:

Ephesians 4:26-27Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”

God, who gave us emotion, helps us to deal with those things that affect our feelings adversely.

Someone cuts us off in traffic, and we have a choice.

Someone says something without thinking. We are involved, and then, we have a choice.

There are those who seem to have a chip on their shoulder all the time – they go around daring people to knock it off wanting and looking for a fight.

There are those who collect wounds. Never forgiving and forgetting as God, our Heavenly Father, has taught us. They keep score. Then, at a time when the emotion rises to a boiling point, the scorecard comes out and becomes their excuse that the relationship has never been repaired and you are the reason for their bitterness.

We cannot control the actions or reactions of others – we can only control our own spirit.

The company we keep is vital.

Psalm 1:1-2Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

My friends are the ones who encourage instead of discourage; speak of ideas and not people, and lift up God, the church, the pastor, and are willing to call me out on my behavior; those are true friends indeed.

The influence of those around me, shape my opinions, steer my path, and contribute to who I am and who I will become.

I must ask myself:

“Am I a better person because this person is in my life?”

“Will this person or these people help me to be more for God?”

Another principle we utilize in our faith-based addiction program; RU Recovery is this:

“Those who do not love the Lord, will not help me serve the Lord.”

I can choose my friends. I can choose what to do with my anger. I can choose how to act when I am wounded. I can choose how to respond to those who gossip, criticize, or tear down others in my presence.

I become a victim if I do not choose in advance what kind of person I want to grow and gather around me those that will help me meet that goal.

Joshua, who was Moses’ right-hand man, was chosen to lead the nation of Israel after Moses passed away. At the end of his life, he gave the charge tot he people:

Joshua 24:15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

They saw his life. They saw his choices. His service to God was faithful and constant. He lived honestly, openly, and transparently before the people.

Choose to live today under the influence, leadership, and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

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