Do you know the difference between the righteous anger Jesus displayed when He kicked out the money changers and vendors from the temple courtyard and the kind of anger that is sin? I just had a personal example today. Today has been frustrating, and frustration leads to anger. This is the second attempt at this post because the first attempt went into computer oblivion because my browser crashed and, yes, I neglected to periodically save my work. After groaning for a while, I was led to post a link to an article about American Christian business people being persecuted by local governments that also seek ways to prevent businesses owned by believers from opening because of spiritual conscience issues which they perceive as hate and discrimination issues towards the LGBT community. In addition to posting the link on my Facebook page, I posted it on a group page as well, only to return later to find out it was gone. Seems like I still have a lot to learn about Facebook’s process. Once I removed the posting from my timeline to avoid duplicate messages, the article that was linked to the group got removed as well. Grrr. I am learning, but computers and I have a definitely adversarial relationship.
Anyway, Jesus was rightly angry that people were disrespecting the temple and made it into a commercial enterprise in its courtyard. When His task was accomplished, Jesus moved forward with being and doing what God had for Him to be and do. In my case, my frustration and anger were so powerful they interfered with what God wanted me to be and do. I reached our to God prayerfully and asked Him to help me move forward in spite of myself. It’s taken a while, but you can see He is doing just that.
Anger can literally paralyze you and stop you in your tracks. It can also overcome you so that your actions become decidedly unreasonable. Many are unaware that anger is a gateway for the kingdom of darkness to enter your mind and even possess it. That’s spiritually serious stuff. Anger also manifests itself in depression, which is anger turned inward. It’s dangerous to live with these repressed emotions because they tend to be expressed at the most inappropriate times and ways. These people are walking time bombs, and they will explode (or implode).
4 Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.
26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
My husband is a represser and comes from a family of repressers. My family culture lets these powerful emotions hang out. After they are expressed, we just move forward. Anyway, the first time I got really angry with my husband hundreds of years ago, the poor guy thought we were headed for divorce court! Nope!
Physically, anger changes the body chemistry and can even lead to illness. High blood pressure, heart disease and even diseases like cancer can have their origins when emotions are repressed. That’s why many counselors encourage the angry one to release those bad emotions in positive ways, often creating endorphins, which are body-produced feel-good hormones. Physical activity like walking, biking and swimming can produce calming effects.
So, I encourage you to go to God when you are angry and ask Him to help you release it in physically and spiritually positive ways. Don’t let the anger fester, but don’t ignore it, either. Many of you know that my husband is bi-vocational and works as a cashier for a major grocery store chain. Daily, he deals with angry folks and has learned that God’s way works. A soft answer does diffuse the wrath somewhat. Online, I am often subjected to anger, verbal abuse and disrespectful attitudes simply because I am God’s. God helps me to love these people just like He helps my husband love those He sends across his path. With God, all things are indeed possible, and that includes transcending personal anger as well as the anger from others.
Proverbs 15:1 (NKJV)
15 A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Pray with me, please: Father God, thanks for helping me to understand anger better and for being there with me as I navigate life’s minefield. Protect me from the kingdom of darkness and help me to cast them out before Your throne for judgment when the situation calls for it. Help me to be real, to be authentic as far as the emotions I experience are concerned and help me to express and release them in physically and spiritually safe ways. Help me to seek spiritual love and to miss it when anger blocks it. In Jesus’ name, amen.
copyright 2015, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved