I was reminded today that human anger is a sign of weakness. Just to be clear, I understand there are times for righteous anger. We could all stand to experience more of this type of anger. But this post is not about righteous anger. It is about the anger that deceives, that makes you think your anger is justified. So when a child, a teenager, a spouse, or a coworker crosses an arbitrary line we feel totally justified by an angry response. Our flesh screams unfair! Angry words of self-defense and accusation flow freely from our lips.
This sort of language and rationalization will receive a hearty amen from the Satanic cheering section. We think we have been strong, when in fact we have been weak. This is the coward’s way out. This is indulges our flesh. We do what seems right at the moment; we do what is right in our own eyes.
You may feel regret at your anger, but until you repent and embrace the role of a servant / shepherd you will be aiding and abetting the enemy.
Even when we have been wronged by someone, God calls us to a different path. He wants you and me to return good for evil and not to engage in self-justification.
Think about this: an angry response requires no courage, just pride to give others what you foolishly think they deserve. When you give in to anger, you are providing a powerfully negative example of self-righteousness. This is why the path of love found in I Corinthians 13:4-7 is an essential weapon in fighting against human anger.
Follow the wise instruction found in James 1:19-20:
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
I had an ugly personal reminder today of just how easily I can succumb to anger. I was not quick to listen, instead I was quick to jump to my defense. I was not slow to speak, instead angry words, self-righteous words poured out with ease. I was not slow to anger, instead I was quick to make things right as I saw them. Sadly my desire was not to produce the goodness that God desires, instead I desired my own righteousness.
Don’t capitulate! Don’t give in to self-justifying anger. There is hypocrisy in treating others as you think their sins deserve. Suppose God treated you as your sins deserve? Not a pleasant thought is it?
Take James’ instruction to heart. See human anger for what it is, a sign of weakness.