Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Be angry, and yet do not sin."

Believe it or not, I get angry sometimes. Some of my friends and coworkers say they can't imagine me getting mad or being disagreeable about anything. True, I'm not an angry person...it doesn't happen often, especially not where others can see...but it does happen.

I'm thinking of the day back in July, when I was mad about being stuck in the camp office while the other staff got to help with Olympics, and I spent the day with a scowl on my face, slamming doors and shoving things around in the office.
Or just the other day when I acted like a jerk and rode on some other car's tail, because they were going 5mph UNDER the speed limit, and I wanted to be going 5 or 10 OVER.
Or how about this morning, when I yelled at my dog because she didn't do her business outside as quickly as I wanted her to, and I was going to be late to church.

I think generally the situation is one of the following: 1) I get mad and irritated over a frustrating circumstance in my day. 2) I'm hurt and upset over something much deeper, and it just comes out in anger over a smaller, less-important situation. 3) There's really no legitimate reason at all to be mad; I'm just being childish.

Here's what I realized today (it wasn't the main point of the message at church, but something that jumped out at me)-- when I'm holding onto or acting in anger, I'm not walking right with God.

Some people will tell you it's a sin to be angry. That's not true. The Bible says, "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger." (Ephesians 4:26) Experiencing the emotion of anger is not a sin. But when I choose to hang onto that anger and let my words and actions and thoughts be controlled by it rather than by the Holy Spirit.... then it becomes sinful. And holding onto anger is a telling sign that my relationship with God is not where it should be. I'm not trusting Him to be fair, to meet my needs, to be the "God of Justice" that the Bible says He is... to be my Yahweh, my everything. I'm not allowing Him to be in control.

But truthfully, I realize that I need Him, and need to be in a right relationship with Him, more than I need anything else -- anything I might be angry about. When we realize that, then that's when we have to choose to let go of it and run back to God again. He will take care of whatever the offending situation is, while we rest in His love.

Thoughts, anyone?

2 comments:

  1. Thank you! This post gave me encouragement and well relief. You are right. It is okay to get upset, but how to we handle the during and aftermath of our anger is what is important. Let's face it, we're humans and we mess up. The question is what are we going to do with the decisions that we have to make?

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  2. Ashley,

    I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head. You're insight here is wonderfully refreshing and walks the tight-rope between the extremes that we tend toward (and you mentioned).

    In short, great work!

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