Angry Christians?

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Are you an angry Christian? In our polarized, quickly changing world it is easy to feel besieged, confused, threatened. Some Christians respond with tirades and rants, bitterly lashing out at political leaders, entertainers, preachers with whom they disagree, former friends … anyone that is available to blame for the state of the world ‘as they see it.’  Am I describing any emotions you can relate to?

The wisdom of God, spoken by Pastor James of Jerusalem, says this to us – “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19-20, NIV)

Anger cannot be the foundation for God’s work!  Anger, left to smolder, consumes a person from the inside out. It’s like that overheated wire inside of a wall that smolders imperceptibly until it reaches the surface and then, finding oxygen, the embers burst into flame and consume the house.

If you are angry, about the direction of our nation, about the spiritual drift in your church, about … whatever … admit it. Anger is often denied. People paste a label over their anger, calling it by many names but it is still anger.  They might make excuses for it, rationalize it, do anything but face it. “I’m not angry, just upset,” I have been told by people while they alternate between tears of frustration and rage. Because anger is a frightening emotion, and usually regarded as ‘bad,’ we often cannot admit to ourselves that we are just ‘mad at the world.’

Anger is a legitimate human emotion. A person who is incapable of anger is a potential victim for everybody that comes along life’s road. Anger can help us gather the courage to start to make a change, to seek justice. Anger is a sibling of love.  Think about it. We get angry about situations that involve things or people we care about. Apathy is a compound word- ‘a’ meaning without and ‘pathos’ meaning feelings. To be apathetic means to be uncaring because we are ‘unfeeling.’  But, when our caring gets trampled, ignored, or disappointed – look out. Anger lurks in those shadows. Ungodly anger is a destructive explosion that usually comes after we have been inconvenienced or frustrated.

Deeply godly men and women will become passionately angry when the weak are abused, when others are oppressed or robbed of their dignity. Actions that diminish God’s honor or that potentially harm those He loves will cause His people to rise up with anger to take corrective action– and rightly so! However, the Bible warns us of the potential for danger that accompanies anger.

The Scripture says, …“don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” (Ephesians 4:26, NLT) Two things are emphasized – we must not lose rational control over anger, for then it flows into rage which is always destructive! And anger must have limits. We can’t just ‘stay mad’ for days on end for that kind of unresolved anger eats away at us – body and soul.

Is life a mess for you, making you smolder with anger?
Does the state of the world make you angry?
Are the choices of those you love making you angry?

Don’t just rage, blame, and threaten.  Remember James’ word, “man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires.”

Admit that you’re angry, then let that emotion take you to the Lord in prayer – where you can pour out all those tumbling emotions. He will hear you and minister to you best – because He knows you inside out! As the stormy emotions find release in His Presence, there will be change in you. As the Lord’s love renews you, you will find a new foundation for your caring. In Him, you will find security so that you can respond with proactive desires to change things instead of destructive reactions.

Here’s a word from the Word to think on today: “Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding; a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity.” (Proverbs 14:29, The Message)  Wow, that speaks to me. How about you?

_________________

Listen to this new song by Zack Williams.
It’s a powerful reminder of our secure hope in Jesus.

Rescue Story

There I was empty handed
Crying out from the pit of my despair
There you were in the shadows
Holding out Your hand You met me there
And now where would I be without You
Where would I be Jesus

You were the voice in the desert
Calling me out in the dead of night
Fighting my battles for me
You are my rescue story
Lifted me up from the ashes
You carried my soul from death to life
Bringing me from glory to glory
You are my rescue story

You are You are
You are my rescue story
You are You are

You were writing the pages
Before I had a name
Before I needed grace oh
Singing songs of redemption
‘Cause every time I ran away
You were louder than my shame

You never gave up on me
You never gave up on me
You are my testimony oh

You never give up on me
Oh You never give up on me
Oh this is my testimony oh

You are You are
Oh You never gave up on me
Never gave up on me
You are You are
Yeah You are my rescue story

Andrew Ripp | Ethan Hulse | Jonathan Smith | Zach Williams © 2019 Anthems of Hope (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC) Be Essential Songs (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC) Cashagamble Jet Music (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)

CCLI License # 810055

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