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Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.—Benjamin Franklin

Many years ago, a senior executive of the Standard Oil Company made a wrong decision that cost the company more than $2 million. John D. Rockefeller was running the firm. On the day the news leaked out, most of the executives of the company were finding various ingenious ways of avoiding Mr. Rockefeller, lest his wrath descend upon their heads.

There was one exception, however; Edward T. Bedford, a partner in the company. Bedford was scheduled to see Rockefeller that day and he kept the appointment, even though he was prepared to listen to a long harangue against the man who made the error in judgment.

When he entered the office, the powerful head of the gigantic Standard Oil empire was bent over his desk busily writing with a pencil on a pad of paper. Bedford stood silently, not wishing to interrupt. After a few minutes Rockefeller looked up.

“Oh, it's you, Bedford,” he said calmly. “I suppose you've heard about our loss?” Bedford said that he had. “I've been thinking it over,” Rockefeller said, “and before I ask the man in to discuss the matter, I've been making some notes.” Bedford later told the story this way: “Across the top of the page was written, ‘Points in favor of Mr. _______.’ There followed a long list of the man's virtues, including a brief description of how he had helped the company make the right decision on three separate occasions that had earned many times the cost of his recent error.”

It has been said that anger is just one letter away from danger. Anger can be a dangerous thing in our lives. Just as controlling substances can take hold of our lives, so anger can cause us to do and say things we may have otherwise never said.

As our verses show today, one of the Ten Commandments is that we should not kill. But Jesus takes it further and commands us not to be angry with another person. When we are angry with others, it robs our joy and causes turmoil in our hearts.

Have you ever noticed that when you are angry at someone, it’s very hard to be kind, witness, or serve others? Anger takes away our ability to live for Christ, and centers our focus on ourselves and how we were hurt.

Are you angry at someone? Has anger robbed the joy and peace from your life? Rather than becoming angry with someone, spend time in prayer while you’re upset. It’s not always easy to approach God when you’re so worked up over something, but it’s better than approaching someone else with that anger. Allow Him to restore peace and joy to your life by removing the anger.

Source: Daily in the Word, October 1, 2008

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