Thursday, August 21, 2008

Slow to Anger

James 1:19-20, “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.” (NIV)

Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (NIV)

Sinful Anger

For a long time now I have had the problem with getting very angry over the simplest of problems (disagreements, accidents, inconveniences, stressful situations), and if it is a real intentional offense, I literally feel like there is smoke coming out of my ears! I'm not sure where this anger came from. Obviously I am a human and therefore I am a sinner, it is a given that I will be angry for the wrong reasons at times. It is even good to be angry when there is sin involved. However, I think its the way I express it and my lack of dealing with it that is the problem. I think when I feel angry or hurt (emotionally OR physically) I also feel the need to express myself, and usually in the process I end up saying or doing things I know I shouldn't do. This is a sin that absolutely needs to be dealt with. I have a child now and plan to have more in the future and I never want to yell at my children for an unjust reason, ever. I yell at my dog all the time, and though a dog doesn't really compare to a child, in a way it does. My dog doesn't know better half the time she does something wrong and I should treat her with love and patience just as I would a child. And if she does know better and she still does wrong, I have to remember that she is a dog! If my daughter Zoe does something wrong (in the future) and she knows its wrong, yes she should be absolutely be disciplined but I also need to remember that she is a child and she is learning. In fact, in many cases, I need to expect Zoe to do things over and over and over again before she finally understands the consequence. It is what children do.

My whole life I have felt that I've had the quick to listen and slow to speak thing down pat! haha.. Being as painfully shy as I was (and still am at times), I never was one to just blurt things out and not hear what the other person is saying. Being slow to anger though, that has always been an issue for me. Even though I may not blurt out harsh words at everyone, I am definitely thinking them. That is what I want to change about myself.

Love and Anger

Being angry over injustice or a sin is not wrong, but we shouldn't have the immediate response of anger when we haven't heard the entire story and we shouldn't express our anger in sinful ways. There are times when you should be angry, but it should never turn into an all-consuming hate. We are angry because of the sin that is being done, but the anger should be motivated by love. I hate the saying, "Love the sinner, hate the sin." Because it allows for sin to be tolerated. But this saying is partially true. We should always be acting in love while at the same time, we are to hate the sins that we commit. But we shouldn't be allowed to get away with sin. We should be angry when a person is purposely sinning. The saying should say, "Love the sinner, be angry with the sinner, and hate the sin."

One thing I need to always remind myself is that Jesus Christ has forgiven me for all of the millions of offenses I have done to Him. Christ forgave me when I didn't deserve it, therefore I have no right to get angry over childish behaviors (whether it is actually a child or an adult).

Harboring Anger

Lastly there is one more thing I need to learn how to deal with. Anger that is just and right but there is nothing I can do about the situation because it is out of my control (such as abortion, homosexuality, premarital sex). Instead of letting it burden me for weeks, months, even years, I need to remember that this is a sinful world we are living in and until I die or Christ returns, these problems will be there and life needs to go on. All the is left to do is pray, and honestly, that is a huge thing that anyone can do. Prayer is *POWERFUL*. The Lord can do anything and we just need to have faith an trust that in the end, we will understand why certain things happen.

My Prayer

Dear Lord,
Thank you for being forgiving and just. Forgive me for all of my anger issues and please teach me how to deal with anger in better ways. Help me to be patient and kind towards others, especially with those who do not know You. I know that I should desire to live a righteous life because that is what your will is for me.

1 comment:

  1. You're such a great wife Shaina. I thank God for you!


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