Examine Your Anger 2
Much of our anger is misdirected. Anger at sin is always appropriate. Anger at Satan is always appropriate. Anger at sinners is sometimes appropriate. Anger at God is never appropriate. Many times when we are angry, we are unwittingly angry at God Himself or His sovereign work. Sometimes we do not even know that our anger is against Him. Sometimes we are not able or willing to admit that our anger is against Him. Whenever it happens, we ought to admit that our flesh doesn*t like the way God does things and that our flesh is disappointed in Him. He knows it anyway. He can handle it and He wants to forgive it.
Being angry or resentful of God is not all that unusual. We are all guilty of it. Ever wish you were taller or more attractive? Ever wish your nose was smaller? People who get body piercing or tattoos are obviously not satisfied with the way God created them. Neither anger at God nor disappointment in Him are proper attitudes toward Him. Both attitudes prove we don*t know Him as well as we should. We get angry or disappointed with God for petty reasons and for bigger ones. Often we don*t want to be what He created us to be or live the way He wants us to live.
Romans 9:20: Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Some believers seem to never get angry. Perhaps they are more responsive to the Holy Spirit than the rest of us. Most of us have to learn things the hard way.
Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I love God and I am called according to His purpose so the all things that God works for my good includes things that I get angry about. We must identify the source of my love for God and your love for God. Like Paul, our flesh does not love God.
Romans 7:18, 25: For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. . . . 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
The love we mortals have FOR God comes FROM God. This kind of love is the fruit of the Spirit. It is not the fruit of my flesh or yours.
1 John 4:19: We love him, because he first loved us.
Galatians 5:22a: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, . . .
If I learn from it, He can even work my anger and whatever caused it, for my good, now or in the future. God is sovereign. He permits the things in my life that anger me. It can help us to deal properly with our anger if we know who or what we are angry at. I have to be very careful that I am angry at sin, at sinners only when it is appropriate and never at the God who permitted the thing I am angry about. I must not be angry at the sovereign work of God in my life.
If anyone had a right to be angry at sinners, it would have been Joseph when his brothers sold him into slavery. He may have been angry with them at the time, but his anger dissipated whenever he found out that it was God*s plan.
Genesis 50:20: But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Like Joseph, the way to dissipate our anger is to know that God is at work in our lives.
I believe that Jesus* command to love thy neighbor as thyself would include being just as angry at our own sin as at the sin of others. If we are angrier at the sins of others, we have a problem. Every sin, ours and others, large or small, is primarily against God.
Sins committed against us or against others are often what make us angry. If we are serving Christ, sins against us are more against the Christ that is working in us than they are against us. Their sins are against us because we are serving Christ. If people sin against God*s servants and make them angry, the God who works all things for their good will work it for the servants* good, if not now, then later. Satan doesn*t really care if we are angry or not. He just doesn*t want us to ever serve the Lord.
1 Samuel 8:7: And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
The people rejected Samuel only because he was the messenger of God. But they rejected God Himself because they did not want Him to reign over them. Their rejection of God*s authority was the most serious sin.
David sinned against Bath-Sheba and against his other wives but mainly against God.
Psalms 51:4: Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
2 Samuel 12:14: Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
Whenever we sin and others are aware of it, it gives them occasion to blaspheme our God, whatever our sin might be. Inappropriate anger is too often one of my sins.