Now there is this myth that a whole ton of Christians believe, that anger is always bad.
We can classify this response as Anger Response #1, “No Anger”. But there are cases when anger is righteous. It’s just we’re so sinful that most of the time we feel anger – we sin. We can’t always be okay with everything, even if it’s wrong and evil.
We should feel something against things like injustice and Satan. Here’s a dictionary definition of anger, “a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong.” We should be displeased with sin. It should upset us. It should upset us greatly.
Which brings us to the next response – Anger Response #2, “Blow Anger” (as in blow up). The thing is we define totally stupid stuff as a ‘wrong’. Stuff like someone cutting you off in traffic, someone spilling beans on your pants, getting stuck at a red light, or someone disagreeing with your politics.
We believe that we have been ‘wronged’, but please, that’s not being wronged. Stealing food from the hungry is being wronged. Having your family be attacked is being wronged. Being forced to watch an Adam Sandler movie is being wronged.
Not only do we misclassify wrongs, but on top of that our response to the wrong… is wrong. When someone cuts us off in traffic, (which isn’t really a real wrong in the first place) we lose self-control and hurl insults (and milkshakes) at them.
So what is the correct response? But it also has to rhyme with the first two responses to anger? Well that would be “Slow Anger”, as in ‘slow to anger’.
PS 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. JAS 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
We must be patient. We must consider all aspects of the situation. We must see if we can act in love.
If the wrong persists, we must feel displeasure towards it, but act in a way that isn’t displeasing to God.
So how can we do that?
Admit – Admit that you are feeling displeasure with a wrong
Cause – Determine its cause (Why do I care so much? Is it really a wrong?)
Transform – Transform your displeasure into positive action by praying for or helping change whatever is making you angry.
If you’re getting angry because the cashier is a jerk and is taking forever… then pray for them. Someone cut you off in traffic? Then pray for them. If you’re getting angry at your kids for their disobedience, then pray for them and come up with a long term solution to help with their disobedience. We have to act in some type of positive way. We have to do some little thing to turn that wrong into right. And just make sure that you are doing it not out of a sense of justice, but out of love.
JAS 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control and Patience Take time to pray: Ask God for the self-control and patience so that you will be slow to anger and abounding in love. We all deal with anger. I mean how can we not when radio stations still play Nickelback songs?