Thursday, February 3, 2011

Anger (James 1:19, 20)

“This you know, my beloved brethren, but let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.  For the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”
James 1: 19, 20

There’s really not much to add to this with a look at the original language.  It’s pretty much what it says.

How many times have I chided my own self . . . “listen more; talk less!”

And that anger thing . . . well—that kind of goes without saying, right?!


Sometimes my anger is self
Sometimes my anger is pride
Sometimes my anger is protection
Sometimes my anger is defense
Sometimes my anger is hurt
Always my anger is trying to make a point—I want to be heard!

But rarely—if ever—is my anger correct thinking, feeling or action!  Righteous!

What is the righteousness of God?

God’s righteousness is pretty synonymous with His justice.  When we say that God is just, we are saying that He always does what is right, what should be done, and that He does it consistently, without partiality or prejudice. The word just and the word righteous are used almost identical in both the Old and the New Testament. Sometimes the translators render the original word ‘just’ and other times ‘righteous’ with no apparent reason (Nehemiah 9:8 and 9:33 where the same word is used). But whichever word they use, it means essentially the same thing. It has to do with God’s actions. They are always right and fair.

Only God is always right and fair.  
In anger, I intervene with my own twist of right and fair.

That is why James implores us here to . . .
. . . be slow to anger. 
. . . be slow to become angry. 
. . . be slow to respond in anger.

Because our anger is seldom correct!  And if we are responding with wrong motive and wrong thinking and in wrong actions then what God would really like to achieve in the moment—what He would like to make of the moment—is lost!

Usually anger is a secondary reaction to a primary emotional (or possibly stronghold) response.  Other times, anger itself can be a deep stronghold.  Strongholds are a big topic and too much to cover here in this post, but begin to ask yourself and God questions if anger is a problem.  Is this a big area of struggle for you?  Do you feel “stuck” in anger?  Some lives are controlled by anger—that’s a stronghold!

I’ll write about strongholds soon, but today—think about anger in your life. 

“Because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants,” James 1:20 (NCV)

Nor the life you want!

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