Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Handling Your Anger
Is it possible to be angry without sinning? The answer is “Yes!” Jesus twice became very angry at the money changers and merchants who were desecrating the temple in Jerusalem (John 2:12-18, Matthew 21:12-13). Jesus demonstrated that righteous anger is possible. Most of the time when we experience anger, however, the emotion is tied to selfish reasons and, therefore, it is sinful.
The Bible gives many cautions and warnings about the dangerous and destructive emotion we call anger. Consider just a few of the Scriptural warnings: “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil.” (Psalm 37:8). “A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated.” (Proverbs 14:17). “The discretion of a man defers his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” (Proverbs 19:11). “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9). “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:31).
“But you must rid yourself of all such things as these: anger, rage malice, slander, and filthy language from you lips.” (Colossians 3:8). “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 God desires.” (James 1:19). “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca’, is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’, will be in danger of the fire of Hell.” (Matthew 5:22).
Scripture presents clearly the danger associated with anger. Anger is sinful and has an extremely limited place in the Christian believer’s life. We are to “get rid of it” and replace it with “kindness and compassion and forgiveness, just as Christ has forgiven us.” (Ephesians 4:32). Anger, is probably the most dangerous emotion you possess. If you don’t have it under the Spirit’s control you can destroy yourself with anger, and you can destroy a lot of other people as well. As with all sin, it is a slippery slope that can lead to destruction.
If you are honest with yourself, you would have to admit that most of the anger you feel is sinful and selfish in nature and it is very destructive to yourself and others. Outbursts of anger frequently ruin relationships. Anger turned inward commonly manifests itself as depression. Your anger can even be turned against God. The issue of being “angry at God” is often heard, and in the pop-psychology world, many people will tell you, “It is all right to be angry with God, He can handle your anger.”
I will agree that God can handle your anger, but it is not normal to be angry with God. Anger toward God is always a grievous sin, and it displays of a lack of faith and ignorance about the character and nature of God. To be angry at God you have to foolishly believe you somehow know how to run this Universe better than Almighty, Eternal, Omnipotent, Holy, Omniscient God does. Anger at God is never justifiable. It is always sinful. “Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under Heaven belongs to me.” (Job 41:11).
If you still think there is a non-sinful way to be angry at God, you may be right. The test is simple – the first time God makes a mistake, you can get angry with Him, but I don’t recommend holding your breath until it happens.
Being angry with God is not normal. Anger, rage, and irritability can hobble you and destroy you from the inside out. It rots the vessel that contains it. Even resentment is bad. Malatchy McCourt said, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” In other words, not only is it sin, it is futile.
God tells us to get rid of our anger. Be normal and be open and honest enough to let the Holy Spirit show you the unresolved anger in your heart today. Then show anger the door out.
A servant of Jesus Christ
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