Thursday, June 4, 2020

Two Kinds Of Anger – One is Good – One is Not

"Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”  – Matthew 21:12-13

I know a number of people, men in particular, that use Jesus' actions as an excuse for their anger.  There are two types of anger. Righteous anger and sinful anger.  The first is derived from God’s view of sin and the second from the emotions of the heart of man.  I was visiting with a homeowner – a single mom – looking at some work done by someone who did not have the skills to do what they did to her home.  We were coming in to fix what was wrong. Their work had caused other problems in her home as well. What I saw was a woman who had asked for a fish and was given a snake.

Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?” – Matthew 7:20-21

I could see the struggle in her eyes.  The weight of the trouble she was feeling.  I asked her if she knew what righteous anger was? Not wanting to say, “No” she said, “I think so but please remind me.” I told her what it was and then that I was feeling that anger looking at what had been done to her home. She had been robbed in essence. Poor workmanship done at a premium price.  Righteous anger is not an expression of emotions out of control – hurtful – abusive – demeaning. It is controlled – focused – God-honoring. It is not something that you must come back later and apologize for. Psychologist say that anger is a secondary emotion – a reflection of something else – it is. That something else might be from natural emotions or from a holy God. There is so much that could be said about anger that I will not attempt in this writing – could not contain in a few paragraphs.

the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:22-25

Righteous anger is controlled and constrained by the Spirit.  It motivates to action to set right. It is not harmful to others. There is no excuse for the expression of the other kind of anger but there is a reason – it is sin – coming from a heart that is not yielded to the Spirit.  I am certain that some who struggle with anger will not like or perhaps agree with me.  After all the culture will say it is important to express your anger – to not suppress it until you “explode”. Tell me how that fits with your new live in Christ?

There is a quote from “The Hulk”, David Banner, “Don’t make me angry, you won’t like me when I am angry.” Perhaps said another way – “Don’t make me show you my old nature. You won’t like my old nature.” It bothers some people I know that I don’t get angry – or they never see me angry. I would like to think that it is because my heart constrained by the Spirit of God, but I know that I am still vulnerable to sin.  We all are. The point of this devotion is to encourage you to not try to justify your natural anger.  Don’t blame people for making you angry. Abusers do that. It is not their fault – somebody made them sin. No - actually they chose to. Let me share some other verses from Galatians.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19-21

Did you see anger in the middle of that? I am not making this stuff up.  Hopefully I am revealing truth to somebody that needs to see it and repent. There are a number of works of the flesh that you can see in that list and feel good about yourself because they don’t apply to you. Focus on the ones that do apply and repent – today. And if you are thinking, oh I have tried to not be that way but I just can’t stop.  Stop trying harder and start faithing harder. You cannot defeat the desires of your flesh on your own!

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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