Anger

1Samuel 11:6: And the Spirit of God came powerfully on Saul when he heard these words, and his anger glowed greatly.

angry-man-274175_640We should be careful when it comes to anger as emotion. When a man allows anger to rule him, his relationships are at risk.

However, in the focus verse, the anger that Samson felt was useful to God because it led him to take action against the enemy of the people of God. Jesus also felt a strong level of anger which made him to make whips and try to chase away those who were buying and selling in the temple.

He announced to them: “it is written my father’s house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations but you have made it a den of thieves (Matthew 21:12-13).”

The anger that Samson felt that lead him to take drastic actions against the Philistine who were oppressing Israel was also divinely orchestrated (Judges 14:4).

But in the book of Proverbs, “the bible says that anger rests in the bosom of fools (Ecclesiastes 7:9).” And Paul will later write: be angry and sin not, do not let anger subsist at the going down of the sun (Ephesians 4:26).

The point is that we should never allow anger to control us. Anger can both be stirred by the Spirit of God as the focused verse showed and can make us be a tool in the hands of the devil to fight what God is building.

Anger has as his cousin, jealousy. When Saul became jealous of David, his anger was directed at him, that anger was also directed at anyone and any town he suspect to be supporting David. He destroyed a whole town of priests (1Samuel 22:7-22), people specially dedicated to the service of God because of this.

Those in the throes of anger and jealousy, are easy prey to being suspicious. As far as Saul was concerned, if he suspected you, you re also immediately guilty of the offence.

That is how anger jealousy and suspicion can so twist a man’s mind and corrupt his judgement. What follows is over-reaction at every turn, not giving people the benefit of the doubt, being defensive feeling like a victim, even if you are an all-powerful king like David. The end result are poisoned relationships, because the thoughts have been poisoned by jealousy, anger and suspicion. The root of bitterness have messed them, bringing forth evil fruits.

Some people are in bondage to blind rage. They tell people they cannot help themselves, but such people need to be told that no excuse is tenable, since we are all to be like Jesus (Ephesians 4:12-13), who was reviled but did not give a return payment (1Peter 2:21-24).

By meditating on what the bible says about anger, the chains of it that has wrapped round our mind will be lifted. And not only that, we need to constantly practise forgiving others. An unforgiving spirit, allows anger to fester within us.

Constantly replaying in the mind the wrong that has been done to us allows anger to persist, but there is freedom in Jesus, who is our peace, we can cast our cares upon him even those that have to do with how others hurt us, for he cares for us (1Peter 5:7). We do not have to continue to be burdened by weights in our soul, we can come to Jesus, who will give us his peace (Matthew 11:28-30).  With festering anger and animosity there can be no peace.

Wrath is described as one of the works of the flesh. Those who tout the doctrine of holy anger only seek to give an excuse for allowing the wrong emotion to continue to rule them. If you find out that people used to grate on your nerves too often, maybe it is you that needs to change to be able to bear more with the weaknesses of others (Romans 15:1). You need to see others as work in progress as you also are.

John and James had a problem of anger (Luke 9:52-56). When a certain city did not allow Jesus and his team which include them to pass through, they asked Jesus, should we call down fire on this village? Jesus restrained them, saying he did not come for judgment but to show mercy. While James and John were feeling slighted, Jesus was feeling mercy. He was not going to be permanently distracted by a temporary setback. He was not going to focus too much on the disappointment.

What was the difference between Jesus getting angry at the temple where he chased out those who were selling stuffs at the temple and what he did restraining James and John from expressing their anger?

The temple issue was not about himself but about the heavenly father. He was jealous for him. It was an expression of zeal for God. But he refused to try and execute revenge when it has to do with himself as in the case of that village. Paul said that we should not avenge ourselves but leave the issue to God (Romans 12:17-21).

Anger is stirred up as a form of self-protection, as a form of fear reaction. But our life is hidden in God in Christ. Also we need to be cured of all festering angers from incidences from our past which can affect the present. Even when we are angry we should be able to retrace our steps and have peace within ourselves.

Anger comes when we expect too much from people. We should give full expectation in our heart only to God, who has said that he has our best interest in mind, who is committed to working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).

Jesus said that he does not want to trust man because he knew what was in man (Matthew 14:29-31). He puts all his trust in God. When he hung on the cross, he had enough confidence in God to say: into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46). And God did not disappoint him, raising him up after three says.

When Peter gave Jesus the resounding assurance that even if all left him he would stand with him, (after Jesus said all of them will be scattered from him, nearing the time of his arrest) Jesus said that that same night before the cock crows twice, Peter will deny him thrice (Mark 14:Matthew ). Peter was his foremost man, who struck someone’s ear with a sword in defence of Jesus, but he could not stay with Jesus as he vowed.

Do not always expect much from people and you will have less reasons to be angry.

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