Archive

Posts Tagged ‘anger’

Holy and Unholy Anger

May 7th, 2014

“Don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Ephesians 4:26 NLT.

Anger is a doorway through which your flesh proudly walks.

My thoughts and comments today are about “holy and unholy anger.”

Anger is an emotion that should have a warning sign, “Danger, handle with caution.” Anger is best in the smallest of doses and managed with the greatest of caution. It is an emotion that is not necessarily sinful, but God places some wise restrictions on it. “Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT. Unchecked, anger damages – even ruins – lives, families, and friendships.

The emotion itself is not wrong, but the origin of anger and manner of expressing it can go horribly wrong. Anger is a doorway through which the worst of your flesh proudly walks. Anger is unrighteous if inconsistent with God’s nature and ways, does not serve God’s purpose for yours or others’ lives, or surrenders control of your passions, words, and actions to something other than the Holy Spirit. Anger begets violence and can be destructive, whether verbal, emotional, or physical. See Genesis 4:6-7 NLT.

Yet God is described in the Bible as being angry. He was angry when Israel turned from God to idols. But know this about God: “His anger is but for a moment; His favor is for life.” Psalm 30:5. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Psalm 103:8. “. . full of compassion, slow to anger.” Psalm 145:8. “. . slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.” Joel 2:13. Anger, when balanced by virtues of God’s character, will remain righteous in its expression. The discipline of spiritual restraint controls the emotion of anger without sinning.

Righteous anger is in harmony with God’s emotions of strong displeasure with sin and wrong. There are many things that should make good people righteously angry. You should not be passive about wrongdoing, such as when the powerful take advantage of the weak, when the rich abuse the poor, when the wicked prey on the helpless. Those things make God righteously angry, and should arouse a holy passion for fairness and righteousness in you.

Sadly, most of the anger with which you will contend is not about God or others, but is aroused when your own will has been denied or your rights have been ignored. In that regard, this is God’s counsel: “My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.” James 1:19-20 NLT. That’s good, practical advice.

When you take time to really listen and restrain your words, anger is less likely, more readily managed, and expressed profitably. Solomon wisely said, “It is better to be patient than powerful; it is better to have self-control than to conquer a city.” Proverbs 16:32. Nothing could be truer, or wiser, or more practical than that. Anger is an emotional symptom of losing self-control in a situation.

My prayer for you today is that you will handle your strong passions with caution.

110308

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , ,

Expiration Dates

April 1st, 2011

“A man’s wisdom gives him patience . . to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 NIV

“The true stature of a person may best be reflected in the size of offense they overlook.”

My thoughts today are about “expiration dates.”

Though unintentional, it seems people often overlook an appointment, a promise, a birthday, an anniversary, or even fail to notice a favor or kindness shown them, yet most of us find it incredibly difficult to overlook offenses. They are just so, well, offensive! The Bible warned you, “It is impossible that no offenses should come . . behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles.” Luke 17:1 NKJV/James 3:5 KJV.

Yes, they are going to happen, most often over small things that only seem large at the moment. A lot of people are hurting; hurting people hurt other people. The issue is not whether offenses will happen to you, but when. The issue is not what happened to you; the issue is how you respond.

Most offenses should just be overlooked, many quietly forgiven, some ignored, a few confronted; all must be resolved – some unilaterally, some mutually. “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 NIV. I think the true stature of a person may be best reflected in the size of offense they are willing to overlook.

My Dad described some people as, “wearing their feelings on their sleeve.” My Dad, a pastor, was describing people quick to be hurt but slow to heal, whose sensitivity was on the surface, but their hurts went deep and lodged there. Solomon observed such souls when he wrote, “It’s harder to make amends with an offended friend than to capture a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with iron bars.” Proverbs 18:19 NLT. The longer you nurse the offense, the harder the solution.

James, the brother of Jesus, gave this wise, practical advice: “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.” James 1:19-20 NLT. However right you feel you are to feel the way you do, your hurt and anger is wrong if not righteously and promptly resolved. The Bible says, “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV. Don’t let hurts and offenses settle in your heart and sour your spirit.

Ever notice how many things you use every day come with an expiration date? Discount coupons, special sales events, food and dairy products, parking meters, and even life itself. Offenses, and the emotions they stir, should have an expiration date. Deal with them!

Take your hurt and feelings of offense to God first. Remember that you also have often been an offender. Accept healing; seek a solution, ask for wisdom; obey His direction. Your goal must always be healing, restoration, and relationship, not settling who’s right and wrong. Deal with the offense with self-examination and forgiveness, or deal with the offender with humility and honesty, or deal with yourself through prayer and submission to God’s grace – or ultimately God will have to deal with you!

My prayer for you today is that you keep a big heart for ready forgiveness.

Devotionals , , , , , , , ,

Danger, Handle with Care

June 26th, 2009

“Don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Ephesians 4:26 NLT

“Anger, when counter balanced by virtues of God’s character, can remain righteous in its expression.”

My thoughts today are about “danger, handle with care.”

Anger is one of those emotions that should have a sign on it, “Danger. Handle with care!” Anger is best in the smallest of doses, and managed with the greatest of care and caution. It is an emotion that is not necessarily sinful, but even God places some wise restrictions on it. “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,” and then Scripture tells you why, “for anger gives a mighty foothold to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27. Anger unchecked ruins friendships, families, and lives.

It is not the emotion itself that is wrong, but the origin of anger at that moment and your manner of expressing it. Anger can be a doorway through which the worst of your flesh proudly storms through. Anger is unrighteous that is inconsistent with God’s nature and ways, does not serve God’s purpose for your life or others’, and yields control of your passion, words, and actions to something other than the Holy Spirit within you. All violence begins as anger.

God is described in the Bible as being angry. He was angry when Israel turned from God to idols. But know this about God: “His anger is but for a moment; His favor is for life.” Psalm 30:5. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Psalm 103:8. “. . full of compassion, slow to anger.” Psalm 145:8. “. . slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.” Joel 2:13.

When anger is counter balanced by such virtues of God’s character, it will remain righteous in its cause and expression. That’s anger you can trust. Righteous anger is the emotion that is in harmony with God’s emotion about something. There are many things that should make good people righteously angry. You should not be passive about wrongdoing when the powerful take advantage of the weak, when the rich abuse the poor, when the mean prey on the helpless. Those things make God righteously angry, and should arouse a passion for fairness and righteousness in you.

Sadly, most of the anger with which you contend is not about God or others, but is aroused when your will has been denied and your rights have been ignored. In that regard, this is God’s counsel: “My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.” James 1:19. That’s good and practical advice.

That works! I have found that when I take time to listen, really listen first, and I reserve my words longer than I would like, anger is more readily managed productively.

Solomon said, “It is better to be patient than powerful; it is better to have self-control than to conquer a city.” Proverbs 16:32.  Nothing could be more true or practical than that. Remember the danger, and handle with care.

My prayer is that you will rule your spirit and handle your passions with care.

Devotionals , , , , , ,