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Humble Surrender

Another big part of being free from anger is found by walking in humble surrender. Often, our anger is a sign of deep-rooted pride. We try so hard to make life happen for ourselves, and we get furious when things don’t go our way. We are quick to blame others for our anger and believe that if they would just act how we want them to, then life would be wonderful.

Surrendering, therefore, comes twofold. We must first and foremost surrender to God. We simply cannot make God’s dreams happen on our own strength, but we must be yoked to Him, working by His strength, and submitting to His direction. If you’ve not seen a yoke, this is an important image to understand.

Oxen are yoked (or attached to one another) by the neck, and the stronger one leads the weaker one. In Jewish society, a yoke was considered the laws and values that rabbis expected of their disciples. Simply put, a yoke is a training tool to show the disciple (or the weaker ox) how to live or how to work. The thing is, if you are yoked to something, you have to submit to that yoke, or it can be very difficult for you.

You may be yoked to Christ, and you may even be going where He leads, but if you’re trying to do things on your own, you’ll find yourself straining and stumbling and being dragged along with a stiff neck. This happens more often in the valleys than on the high places, as we try to find another way around the low places of life instead of following Christ through them. This is why we often spend more time in the valleys than we need to.

But true surrender to God is recognizing that He is the best one to lead and guide you, and when you are surrendered to His yoke, you’ll also find that He does most of the work. Your anger may be coming from a place of trying to accomplish life by your own strength. Things simply aren’t working out the way you planned them, and it’s time to tell the Lord, “not my will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) Even Christ, Himself, had to learn that lesson as He pleaded with God for another way. But we can see by His example, that when His Father’s plans didn’t line up with His own, Christ didn’t get angry with God, but He surrendered, humbly accepting His place in His Father’s plan.

The second kind of surrender that we must undergo is surrender to our fellow man. It’s the kind of surrender that realizes we are not the center of the universe, and that other people have needs and feelings and desires as well as us. It means understanding that when things don’t go our way that we can share in the joy of others, who are getting their turn for gratification. Life as the Body of Christ means giving and taking in a way that benefits everyone and not just ourselves. Everyone will sacrifice and everyone will feel pain, but everyone will also experience joy and fulfillment and will live in the blessing of sharing life together.

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