I recently found myself angry over what I felt was someone questioning my honesty. This anger caused me to ponder what it means to be angry, but not sin. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”
Merriam-Webster defines anger as a strong feeling of being upset or annoyed because of something wrong or bad: the feeling that makes someone want to hurt other people, to shout, etc.
Using Christ as our example and who all Christians seek to emulate, the Bible records Jesus being ‘angry’ when He found the moneychangers in the Temple. Matthew 21:12-13 records that “…Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
When I compare and contrast my anger with that of Christ, I see clearly that Christ had a righteous anger; the root of His anger was concern for the worship of God, while mine was concern for how I was being treated. Every example of Jesus expressing anger was related to God being maligned or others being mistreated. Jesus was never angry at what was being done against Him.
There are many scriptures that provide us guidance on anger:
Anger that is self-defensive, self-serving, selfish, or that resents the actions of others is the type of anger that is sinful. The best way to determine if our anger is a righteous anger is to line it up against Christ’s example – is it a righteous anger or a self-serving anger?
My anger was self-righteous and self-serving; how dare someone question my honesty was my mindset. As Christians, we are a peculiar people and our behavior and attitude are different. It is through this difference that we best demonstrate our love of God.
Colossians 13:1; 8; 12-13 sums it up perfectly
“1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forebearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Glory To God and Blessings - Janice
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14 KJV).
Earlier this week I heard of the passing of a friend and former co-worker. I, of course, was saddened to hear of her passing, and it started me thinking about the preciousness of time. It is often said that time is a precious thing that we give away, but can never get back because there is a limited supply.
Throughout this week the theme of time has been repeated, and has served as my confirmation to write on the issue. Several years ago I had a year in which my theme was “Tick Tock.” The premise was that time was ticking away, and so it was time to be about ‘…my Father’s business.’
As with so many things in life, if you don’t keep it as a priority, it will slip off of the radar. So over the years, I have found myself allowing my time to be devoted to things that were not edifying to myself, nor uplifting to others.
The passing of my friend has served as a reminder for so many things in my life, including a review of how I have been using my time. It is not my intent to account for every second of my time, but rather to ensure that overall I am spending my time and energy in a way that adds to my spiritual life and not subtracts.
When I analyze my day – the questions I will begin to ask myself include (1) was I a proper Ambassador for Christ; (2) did I let my light shine for others to see; (3) did I glorify God; (4) what things could I have done better?
It is my intent, hope, and prayer that this consistent approach will help me resist the temptation of living for self instead of Christ. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3 KJV).
Glory to God and Blessing to You – Janice
Associate Certified Coach, ICF