I used to be the really sensitive type, convinced that people, places, and properties could make me mad.
Yet then I read about the fruits of the Spirit in a different "spirit":
"But the fruit of
the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
temperance: against such there is no law." (Galatians 5: 22-23)
These are "fruit of the Spirit" -- they are all in one, composite "fruit", not "fruits", and they are borne out by the Spirit, not by me!
It's not my job to produce love, joy, peace, but to rest in the righteousness which I have received from Christ. The next verse explains this crucial element:
"And they that are
Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Galatians 5: 24)
We are His now, and thus we have no need to look at ourselves, and wonder if we are pleasing to God:
"To the praise of the
glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1: 6)\
So, if love, joy and peace are a supernatural byproduct of abiding in Christ, then why do Christians, like me, get angry so easily?
I believe it has to do with the fact that many of us still walk around with a sin conscience, one that still worries about offending God or doing something wrong.
Yet in Christ, we have been purged from this conscience:
"How much more shall
the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot
to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9: 14)
To the degree that we believe that we must think, say, or do things a certain way in order to please God or to maintain our standing before Him, then to that extent we grow easily hurt and unforgiving.
Yet what is the root of forgiveness? Paul explains:
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God
for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4: 32)
When you rest in the everlasting forgiveness and righteousness of God the Father, forgiving others, no longer taking offense at others, is a snap, a release that blesses you even more!
A sense of sin makes us sensitive. A sense of righteousness and grace make us strong and stable!