I came acorss this image when I searched for anger on the internet this morning. I have to admit, while it struck me as funny it also hit a nerve-I have felt just as this photo depicts. But do we have a right to be angry? That is a question I have been pondering lately. Do I make excuses for my anger by calling it “righteous anger?”
What does God say?
Matthew 5:22, But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire.
Ephesians 4:26, Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger
Ephesians 4:31, Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Colossians 3:8, But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
And from today’s reading:
James 1:19-20, This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
And I cannot read James without hearing a call to action. Here I am challenged to be a doer of the word not just a hearer. Here I am challenged to keep myself unstained by the world, and oh it is an angry place right now. Here I am challenged to ask God for what I lack (James says wisdom, but I think it would apply to other areas as well.) “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” This has been my prayer for many years-asking for wisdom- today will see me adding to my request because I know what James says about God here to be true…God gives generously and without reproach.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,