March 6, 2002 • By Ed Wrather
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. - Ephesians 4:30-32.
To "chill" in American teen vernacular means to "calm down." "Chill" has evolved from the ancient "be cool," to "chill out," to simply "chill." Apparently, there are more and more people who need to avail themselves of a good "chill."
In Lowell, Massachusetts a 38-year-old woman became enraged, and beat up an older woman (51-years-old), because the older woman had brought one too many items to the 12-or-less express checkout counter.
In St. Paul, Minnesota, early one Saturday morning at a bar, John Haider became more than a little upset with a man he thought was staring at him. So he called a friend, and had his friend bring him a gun. Haider, then shot Patrick Murray in the head. St. Paul Police Sgt. Bruce Wynkoop said, "The best we can get is that the guy was angry because the victim was staring at him, he apparently doesn't like people staring at him." Apparently!
Then there is the man in Terrace, British Columbia who was so upset by the violence in "Lord of the Rings," that he smashed the theater’s cash register, soda fountain, and a plant in the lobby!
Malice, is the desire to cause harm, to come to someone else. Wrath goes beyond thought to action - actions of violent anger and rage. These things the apostle Paul makes clear grieves the Holy Spirit, and should be "put away from you." Not only should they be "put away from you," but those emotions and actions, should be replaced with something better. Kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness should be our nature, and the source of our actions.
How do you "chill?" The apostle tells us in Philippians 4:8 to think about things that are good, to meditate on these things. Instead of dwelling and becoming angry, about all the bad things that may happen, immediately concentrate on the good. God’s Word is a powerful weapon to use when events or things happen that cause you to experience anger or even rage. As you draw closer to God (James 4:8), He will draw closer to you, and more and more of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) will become evident in your life. As you draw closer to God, you will find yourself experiencing and demonstrating "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control."
So, the next time someone stares at you, or checks out with one too many items in the express line, just "chill out!"