Wednesday, March 4, 2009


March 4


Bottom line for me through most of my life: anger is wrong.

When people get angry it is because they have a problem inside. ("So, get over it!")
Anger hurts people.
God doesn't like anger.

So...avoid anger, don't explode, walk away and cool down, get yourself under control.
Stop it before it hurts someone.

So...I am a simmer-for-a-long-time guy - I'm a bury-your-feelings-and-hope-they-go-away guy.

And then
I am reading through the Bible and come to the book of Numbers and in just over one chapter (11-12:9) I read -
"his (God's) anger was aroused,"
"the Lord became exceedingly angry,"
"the anger of the Lord burned against the people,"
"the anger of the Lord burned against them."
And when that deep emotion comes from God....people are turning white, falling down, dying, repenting, going in new directions and acting really humble. (Read it in these chapters for the full context.)

A key tempering insight comes out in a prayer in chapter 14 - "the Lord is slow to anger."

And how many of us have read it too often with an internal edit: "the Lord is NO to anger."

That last statement is untrue.
God gets angry.
Not just "back then" - but now.
And His white-hot fury fries our pride, and bends our knees and drives back the darkness and evil in our world.

When anger finally breaks out in me it is sometimes the selfish kind - I am just put off greatly by something - but more often, it is the kind that is accompanied by tears, the tears of deep longing and sadness, the anguish of hope unfulfilled, the rage against injustice. And I often feel that the second kind is beginning to approach God's kind of anger.

So the word today might be this - be slow to anger too, but be angry at the right things. Quit always holding this deep well of feeling and action in check.
Let your heart be stirred up and your mind race with the rage of the way things are around you.
Get mad at the victories of the enemy...and the weaknesses of the church.

Let the tears flow too - and let the change come that only passionate responses can bring.

Oh God, may our anger be Yours.



1 comment:

Galen said...

I think the last line is a good one. Let ours be His. If our tuning fork finds the right pitch, it is because that tone has been sounding all along, and God owns it. We aren't meant to carry around anger for long. But with a merely empathic kind of anger which can inform our sense of what displeases God, we take nothing upon ourselves: no self-appointed crusades, acting out on the impulse for revenge and the like (that last one is hard sometimes!). God does the heavy-lifting.