How do you define anger?
Here is a condensed compilation of definitions that I found recently-
· A strong emotion orientated towards a real or supposed grievance
· A strong feeling of displeasure, hostility or antagonism towards someone or something, usually combined with an urge to harm
· A negative emotion caused by a loss of control or opposition
· Vexation, ire, rage
These seem to be pretty strong words, don’t they?
Have you ever felt anger over something?
I’m sure you have.
There are lots of “things” that can stir up that strong emotion within us –
· Abuse of children and spouses
· War – and the deaths of young men, women and children
· Bullying – at school, in the workplace, in the home
· Injustices of all sorts
· Losing a child to a physical illness or thru an accident
· The medical system as it is today
· Slander and defamation of character
· A slight from someone we call ‘friend’
The list goes on and on -
Today I feel led to share what we are to do with our anger.
James 1: 19-20 (Amplified)
Understand [this], my beloved brethren.
Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak,
slow to take offense and to get angry.
For mans anger does not promote the righteousness God
[wishes and requires].
James 1:19-20 (NIV)
My dear brothers, take note of this:
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and
slow to become angry,
for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life
that God desires.
Did you notice the additional words in the Amplified version?
“slow to take offense”
As I reflect on that I am reminded that if I am slow to take offense to something/someone then my anger will more than likely
not occur, or it will be lessened;
my response will certainly be different than if I give in to the emotion
at the moment it arises!
Do you agree?
AND - If I am slow to become angry … or slow to RESPOND to or use
that powerful emotion …
the consequences will be different than if I give in to it immediately!
Have you found this to be true in your life?
Another thought –
As one author wrote:
“It is right to be angry about injustice and sin!
It is wrong to be angry over trivial personal offenses!
There is a difference between uncontrolled rage and righteous indignation!”
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand,
and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves,
and the money changers doing business.
When He had made a whip of cords He drove them all out of the temple,
with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money
and overturned the tables.
And He said to them, “Take these things away!
Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”
John 2: 13-16 (NKJV)
One Study Bible I researched says this –
‘Jesus took the evil acts in the Temple as an insult against God,
And thus, he did not deal with them halfheartedly. He was consumed with righteous anger against such flagrant disrespect for God.
They were making a mockery of God’s house of worship.
we know that Jesus experienced anger –
some people use that as an excuse for what they do with their anger,
“Well, He threw them out of the temple and overturned the tables,
so I can ___________________” (you fill in the blank)
First of all look at the verse that states, “When He had made a whip of cords” –
This verse says to me that He had some time to think about
what he had just observed and how he was going to react to it.
I’m sure making a whip wasn’t a 2 minute deal!
I also wonder if the whip was something He threatened them with,
not actually beat them with.
What do you think?
What I do know is that He did not immediately respond to His anger at
finding His Father’s house being used for such purposes.
We need to do likewise!
We need to take a “time out” – to think about the offense or injustice
we have experienced - and then -
make a CHOICE as to how we are going to respond to it.
Ephesians 4:26-27 (NKJV)
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
nor give place to the devil.
if we would only listen and do as God`s Word teaches us to do!
We need to acknowledge our anger; we need to respond in a godly way;
we must not let it fester and become “bigger than life“;
we must not be consumed by our anger;
we must not let the devil get a foothold thru our anger;
we must look for opportunities to express the LOVE of CHRIST
to those who have angered us!
Father in heaven,
I pray today for those reading this –
that they will read your Word,
meditate on it and let it “Fill Them Up“ ;
that they will seek You in every aspect of their lives;
and that the next time they feel that emotion of anger brewing
they will step back, and be slow and controlled in their response…
being led by the Holy Spirit thru it all!
Thank You, Jesus!
Blessings on you,
Friday, October 3, 2008