A few weeks ago I began taking Bible Memorization seriously again. This is actually something I should have done a long time ago, and became convicted about it while reading “The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges. He does an excellent job of explaining how the memorization of Scripture helps us apply Scripture to life (or combat specific sin) so it’s a spiritual exercise instead of a mental one.
Reading “The Pursuit of Holiness” along with another book by Bridges “Respectable Sins” helped me realize certain areas of spiritual weakness in my life. One in particular was the sin of what I like to call “quiet anger” which means frustrations in life lead to a few seconds of annoyance . By itself this isn’t a very serious problem…however every time something like that happens (especially if it comes from the same source) that quiet anger grows.
the Lord used Ephesians 4:31 to show me the danger of my quiet anger
Ephesians 4:31 Let all Bitterness (quiet anger) and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speech be put away from you with all malice
the interesting thing about this passage is Paul’s saying all of the violent forms of anger find their source in bitterness. It’s not normal for someone to suddenly display wrath, most of the time it starts as small frustrations.
With the Lords help I’ve begun quoting Ephesians 4:31 to myself whenever that quiet anger arises, and even verbally rebuking this attitude of frustration when it was out of control. I did this because part of me knew someday that habit of putting away quiet anger would be tested…and last Friday was that day.
One of my biggest needs right now is a vehicle so last week I contacted Baptist Mid Missions about getting an electronic transfer of the funds necessary to buy one, and started setting up a bank account in Barrouallie. A lady at the bank helped me figure out what was needed, and then I came with the necessary documents last Friday.
Unfortunately since banks in SVG have been used in the past for money laundering by foreigners the application process took a lot longer than expected. Particularly frustrating was the fact that I had to leave the bank three times in order to have new documents printed at a fellow missionaries house, and then bring them back .
Coming to their house the third time I was not in a very good mood to be honest, but that’s when the Holy Spirit brought Ephesians 4:31 to my mind. That truth along with an understanding of God’s Sovereignty  helped me remain calm and patient instead of growing in bitterness
I would memorize Scripture as a child to get a badge in Awana’s or a sticker, which is a good thing because God’s Word was hidden in my heart. But today I do it for a much better reason; to make sure when Satan’s temptations come, in the power of Christ I can stand firm.
I am not exactly sure what would have happened if Ephesians 4:31 wasn’t on my mind, but I do know without it I would be one step closer to wrath.