Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Be Careful

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Ephesians 4:26 (KJV)

Anger is a controversial topic that need not produce anger in discussing it, although we may not take the same stance on it:)  I will attempt to illustrate my points as clearly as possible.  

Let's look at a basic definition of anger.

anger-a strong feeling of displeasure aroused by a wrong

Now while I strongly agree that God allows us to feel anger towards injustice (John 2:12-25), I do not succumb to the idea that we anger is a normal part of everyone's life.  Let me explain.  

The anger towards injustice is when our compassion is aroused at the mistreatment of another person.  For example, if we see a husband berating his wife or vice versa or a child hitting a parent.  Since these are things that are a definite NO in God's Word, we may feel anger toward the situation.  Since we serve a holy God, our desire to see justice served may be aroused.

However, this is completely different than when we get angry because we have been wronged.  In the above example, God's Word, His Love, His Justice are the focus.  When we are wronged and become angry, the focus shifts to "me."  

Why did he/she do that to me?
I can't believe their audacity?
I would never do that!

The list goes on and on but God is not the center.  And this is when we have to be careful because our emotions can lead us to sin.  They can cloud us to viewing things one way (our way) and not the Lord's way.  

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these:  anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 
Colossians 3:8

Anger gives the enemy such a foothold (Ephesians 4:27) that we must rid ourselves of it.  Look at the above succession of what anger produces:

I am angry-I don't like what happened
I have rage-I have a violent desire
I have malice-I have a desire to inflict injury
I slander-I make false statements
I have filthy language-I use vile and vulgar words

I am completely convinced that we are to get rid of anger through an active resistance to it because  man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires (James 1:20).  

Anger is an option, but not the only one.  We can choose humility.  

Let us be peacemakers and peace seekers always making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).  Let us not fester in anger but resolve the matter-today.  Do not go to sleep with those thoughts/emotions. 

When they hurled their insults at him he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made not threats.  Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
1 Peter 2:23

In light of what we've learned today, we have decisions to make. Let us be careful with allowing anger becoming a part of our lives because it will control us.  We are to be led by the Spirit and not by our emotions.  As we become less focused on "me" we will be able to keep our eyes on Jesus, the Prince of Peace.  He sees and knows it all.  It is better to make room for God to handle situations (Romans 12:19) and not take matters into our own hands.  Let us learn from Jesus and make no provision for our flesh (Romans 13:14).  Let us strive for peace today and always, not giving the devil any footholds.