I spent over five hours putzing around yesterday in my little yard. Granted, it physically takes me at least twice as long as others to accomplish things because of my physical limitations. Nevertheless, I did manage to get some things done. When it came to pulling weeds and because sprouts are still fairly young, I wasn’t sure what should and should not be pulled out, at times. So, I’m sure some weeds still remain.
For some reason, as I was driving to a doctor appointment today, I began thinking about anger. I wasn’t feeling anger, just thinking about it. It’s one of those emotions that can go either way. Anger in itself is not ‘bad’. After all, God is angry with the wicked every day (PS. 7:11) and we know that God is good (PS. 119:68). His Word also tells us ‘be angry’ (Eph. 4:26), but it adds to ‘sin not’ and instructs us to not let the sun go down upon our anger. He also tells us to be slow to anger (Prov. 14:29). Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?
Anger can be an alarm to awaken us to injustice; it can be a way of informing us that something someone said or did is inappropriate. Like an instinct, it can alert us to evil in our midst. It can also be a very healthy motivator to do something good in response. In such circumstances, anger can be a flower.
On the other hand, when anger rules us and takes control causing us to make poor decisions or act irrationally, it can become an ugly weed that needs to be pulled. When anger leads to violence, it becomes destructive and can choke the life out of us. If we allow anger to fester within, it can lead to bitterness which not only hurts us, but others around us (Hebrews 12:15). When anger becomes a weed, it needs to be pulled.
For the average person, anger isn’t usually that big of an issue. If one’s heartache in life has been fairly minimal, following God’s instructions aren’t very difficult. However, for a person that has been victimized or has had to bury a child, anger becomes a powerful force that can be quite difficult to tame. The anger is a natural God-given response to such horrific events. Remember, He is angry, too. Not only does He get angry, but God Who is Love (1 John 4:8, 16), also hates:
Proverbs 8: (KJV)
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
I’m not sure when it began to be taught that anger and hate are ‘bad’. Folks have received such faulty and misleading teachings about Who God is that it often causes many to stumble and pull away from Him. They question how a loving God can allow such evil things to occur in our world not knowing that He hates them and is far more angry about them than we could ever be. Thankfully, Jesus the Christ made it quite clear that His Kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). God will have His day of vengeance; He will vindicate those that are His (Rev. 14:12-20).
It’s OK to be angry; it’s OK to hate bad things. God says so. It’s what we do with those emotions that can or cannot become an issue. That is often when we are at His Mercy. We often desperately need His Grace to manage those emotions, especially under horrific circumstances. Because of the abuse in my life and living around a very violent man who refused to take control of his anger, I was afraid to ever allow myself to feel anger. I didn’t want to be ‘that guy’. Once I learned that it was OK for me to be angry and that I had a choice of how I handled my anger, which was quite different from his choices, I found anger to be a friend when used constructively and appropriately. It also was my way out of a tunnel of despair. For him, it was a weed. For me, it was a flower. I will have my day in ‘court’. God promises to vindicate me.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:6 nlt
Until then, I must be patient…and for that I need His help, as well. When I cry out: “How long, Lord?”, I think of those who have gone before and are heard asking the same thing before the throne:
Revelation 6:10 (KJV)
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
At the same time, I am reminded of the words of a very learned and wise scholar:
C.S. Lewis: “God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over.”
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728 Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/
Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))