If a man[d] does not repent, God[e] will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow;
13 he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts.  Psalm 7:12-13

These verses were part of our Youth Bible Study Sunday morning.  It was, at least for me, the most interesting part of the study.  Dr. Timothy Seleska, in his commentary on the Psalms, indicates that there are four different ways the grammar of these verses can be read.  If God does not relent and God preparing His weapons; God relenting even though the evil man prepares his weapons; man repenting or else God will prepare His weapons; man repenting of preparing his weapons.  All but one of these ways includes, in one way or another, the idea that a person’s anger comes back on himself and deals a blow to him instead of who he is mad at.  That by preparing his weapons to strike another, or by failing to repent, he is bringing harm to himself.

How often in our lives can we look back on the times we became angry and struck out only to receive the greatest harm to ourselves?  I know for me it is too many to recount.  Things said in anger that we later regret.  Even physical outburst where people (or things) that we value get damaged.

But Jesus has given us an answer to this also.  For in the fruit of the Spirit we find that answer – peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control are all listed.  God has provided many gifts that we neglect to our own hurt. I would include repentance and forgiveness in the list of things we neglect to our own harm.  It would do all of us good to allow these gifts of God to take a firmer hold in our lives.

We pray – Holy Spirit, enter into our lives in fullness.  Help us to use the gifts You give us for the benefit of others and ourselves. In Jesus’ Holy Name we pray. – Amen.