TODAYS INSPIRATION: ANGER = (D)ANGER!

Anger is one of the most intense, destructive, and unhealthy emotions we can have. There was a time when I would get angry and I would say, “nobody’s perfect”. But in my Christian growth, instead of justifying it as me not being perfect, I wanted to know what the Word said about anger. We all have used the “nobody’s perfect” excuse to rebel against God and His expectations of Christians. We all have heard and probably used the, “God knows my heart”, or “The Bible says don’t judge”. It is true that we all sin and we all make mistakes, and most certainly God does know our hearts. But we must not use this as an excuse to justify our sins. Don’t get it twisted, Gods grace is a gift and does not give us permission to sin. While we are saved by faith alone in Christ, that faith should result in obedience and good works. We must strive to behave everyday like Christ. It is not what we are trying to be but what we are, God says when we are truly saved, we are a new creature. We may fall short at times, I know I do, but there should be growth.

God did not tell us we couldn’t feel anger, He said we should not vent our anger. The Word says be slow to anger. As Christians we do not like to admit we are angry. We might say we are “upset”. Upset and angry have different meanings. When you are upset you are usually sad and tearful, but when you are angry you want to react, even if it’s just with words. What do you do as a Christian when it’s personal? When someone or something has lit your fire and you are burning up inside. What do we do as Christians when our anger is to much for us to handle? I used to say, (still do sometimes) “please don’t make me angry because then I’ll get mad!” That word mad originally meant “crazy” or “insane” in American English, and in the UK it still does, and is commonly used in the phase “mad with rage”. That doesn’t even sound good so you know it’s not of God. Everyone has or will at some point experience anger. Sometimes it is difficult to control our emotions. Through the grace of God, I am learning when I do get angry how to control it instead of it controlling me.

Admitting that we are angry is the first step to dealing with anger the Christian way. The second is realizing it is impossible for us to control anger without the power of God at work in our hearts and lives. Thirdly, it must be properly motivated. There are times a person can be angry for appropriate reasons. It’s called righteous anger. Religious hypocrisy, racism, poverty, and injustice are some reasons that fall in that category. Jesus experienced emotions just as we do. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. They were taken advantage of those less fortunate. He drove them all from the temple area, he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. When Jesus asked the religious leaders if it was okay to heal a person on the Sabbath, and they would not answer, scripture says, “he looked around at them with anger”. He still healed the man while angry which lets us know that we can still do what is right while angry. Clearly some forms of anger are wrong, and this is the anger that Jesus spoke out against in Matthew 5:22, angry that you did not get your way, anger that is destructive and unnecessarily demeaning. We should not let our anger turn into bitterness or hold grudges. Never let others anger you to the point where you become someone who you don’t recognize! Jesus did not exhibit man’s anger but the righteous indignation of God.

When we let our anger control us, we break unity with the body of Christ. I tell you God and his Word is the best anger management class you can take! It will take time, because spiritual growth, like human growth, is gradual. I thank God for not just convicting us of our sins, but for transforming us through the Holy Spirit. I thank him for meeting us where we are but also loving us enough to not leave us there. When our anger gets to much for us to handle, the best thing we can do is give it to Jesus! Love and Blessings…

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.” (Matthew 21:12)

“So the Lord’s anger was aroused against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord was gone.” (Numbers 32:13)

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)

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