Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Anger is meant to remind us whose side of the spiritual battle we are on. It is a gift from God, that we would feel deep indignation towards the wrongs of the world-slavery, murder, thievery, destructive gossip, outright defiance towards Godly things, and sexual immorality. And it is meant to motivate us to run hard after all that is good and pure and lovely and to combat the wrongs in the world with all that is right.
What anger is not meant to do is be personalized.
We should feel anger when we see sin in the world and being lived out in the lives around us and we should be filled with humility and repentance when we recognize sin in ourselves. But anger over not having “our way” in life or with our kids is anything but righteous. It’s pride.
Save your anger for the “big stuff” that pollutes God’s design for righteous living in this world. Reserve your anger for those who suffer mercilessly at the hand of evil in the world around you. Go ahead and seethe over the news of that broken family whose mother has been sleeping around and whose kids are now bleeding from a broken heart. Rail against the man who dares to sell drugs to your pastor’s son and your neighbor’s 6th grader. And furthermore, may it move you to action to champion the poor, the mistreated, the enslaved, and the downtrodden.
May it never be wasted over dirty socks on the floor or a mouthy teen. May our anger never explode because an immature 3-year-old won’t eat his vegetables. Let us never sin in our anger over being late to school or become bitter because our husbands don’t help with the dishes. Let’s not be angry because of homework.
Perhaps, our anger is magnified because our perspectives are microscopic.
Pop the bubble of your own ideals for life and self-interested desires for what your kids or your home should like today, and consider that you are not a sex slave, or meeting underground for a Bible study in a dank room lit by candles, or searching for your missing teen amongst drug lords.
Let’s shift our anger to gratitude for all the good and ease with which we live life compared to the outright tragedy of rampant sin in the world today and let’s reposition our perspectives to combat that same permeating darkness by honoring God with our own lives well-lived. Let's not rub shoulders with the forces of evil by yelling at our kids over sibling rivalry and giving Satan ground in our own homes. There’s far too much darkness in the world already.
Get good and angry over the sin of the world. But there’s no place for sinful anger in the home of a Christ-follower.
Your kids are gifts who are apprentices under your master teaching. They need loving guidance and wise instruction-not angry moms. Don’t think for a second that God is naïve enough to send you into battle unarmed and ill-equipped. Call on the Holy Spirit to help you today and do the good that is set before you. It will often look like a calm response to an angry tantrum. It will require setting aside dinner to talk with your teenager and tell them that even if they “don’t want to talk about it,” that you care. It may very well mean denying yourself the luxury of a break so that when your husband comes home, you offer him some rest. And it will probably look a lot like time in God’s Word, being filled every hour by His love and grace so that as you pour out, you never run on empty. But may we never underestimate the effectiveness of defeating darkness in the world as a whole by scattering it within our own homes.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Galatians 3:8
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 2:1-6
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. Ephesians 5:8
YOUR TURN! What circumstances in the world cause you the most righteous anger? Is there something troubling you-how can I pray for you today?
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