Anger isn’t bad. And neither is dynamite.
Both are powerfully dangerous, however. So they require extreme caution, serious training and skillful handling.
Following your anger is like lighting the fuse on a stick of dynamite. It’s asking for trouble. An explosion of anger creates wreckage that could have been avoided.
- So what’s the answer?
- How can anger be helpful instead of hurtful?
- How can it be good?
Common wisdom suggests counting to 10 when you’re angry, or filing the nasty email you’ve written and reconsidering it in the morning. In other words, we know it’s best to slow down.
Road rage happens because angry drivers act on their instincts instead of taking a step back and a deep breath.
So if you’re angry, take some time to think it through. Ask, “What am I so angry about, and why?” Often times it is an injustice of some kind, either perceived or real. Ask what your anger is telling you that you should do, and consider whether this is “the righteousness that God desires.”
Studies are showing the importance of intellectual humility these days (https://www.bbc.co.uk/ideas/videos/the-importance-of-knowing-you-might-be-wrong/p08d53s8). We are becoming overconfident in our own opinions, and it is polarizing us.
Instead of treating every opinion you have like it’s a closed case, let it be an open door. Allow others in.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
God’s anger saves
Managing your anger is a lot different than your anger managing you.
God managed his anger that was telling him to condemn you to his wrath and punishment for your sins. Hurl lighting bolts. Curse to hell and damnation.
He redirected this anger to himself, and sent his own Son to die, suffering the wrath of God for the world’s sins once and for all.
God’s anger at the cross of Jesus Christ saves you from your sins of anger.
“Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires … humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:19-21).
Your anger is not going to save you. Your deep disgust at the behavior of others, your hot frustration at those close to you who don’t meet your expectations, your moral fury at those who promote wrongdoing. It’s not going to save you.
You are holding dynamite. Don’t light the fuse. Instead, practice humility. Open your door and access the most important word, which is not an opinion. God’s Word. Listen. Meditate. Pray. Put into practice.
God doesn’t bully you. He plants his truth in you and nurtures it in your soul. He cares for you and takes his time with you. He is a patient and faithful Father.
Follow his example. But first, have faith in the cross where he directed his anger once and for all.
Dear patient and faithful Father, you directed your anger to the cross of Jesus Christ once and for all. You chose to forgive. You created peace. Restore our land by the words of truth you plant in hearts of faith. Help us to practice kindness and seek understanding. Amen.
Spend time in James chapter 1 today. What does it say to you about these responses to God’s Word:
- Put into practice.