Angry at Change, Process, others? Part 1
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Exodus 22:24; 32:10-12
Anger burns furiously hot in these passages from Exodus
Anger is neither: wrong or right until there is a motive. Anger can be productive and loving just as it can be destructive and selfish. We need to take time to discern our anger in order to see it for what it is. There are different kinds of anger. The first kind involves a person to do harm to himself or others and this is selfish. It is the kind of anger that destroys rather than buildings up. It is like a wrecking ball.
Genesis 4 tells the story of Cain and Abel. Both men brought sacrifices to God that reflected their occupations. But only Abel brought a sacrifice which pleased the Lord. Cain was very angry and his face was downcast. He became angry. God approached him and made it clear that he desired to accept him, but Cain had to come on God’s terms, not his own. God warned Cain telling him that if he did not do what is right, sin was crouching at him. Cain’s choice was difficult. He was hurt and angry because God would not accept his offering like his brother Abel’s. God gave him an opportunity to deal with his emotions. But Cain refused to do what God had asked and took matters into his own hands. Cain murders his brother and his heart is hardened. Instead of speaking to the one to whom he was angry, Cain killed his brother. God asked him where Abel was and he said “I don’t know.” God knows what happened to Abel and Cain was condemned. Cain paid for his anger because instead of humbling himself and accepting God’s direction and correction, he was rooted in self-centred efforts. His anger was to destroy.
Have you ever been angry that you took it out on a wall or hit something in order to release the anger? What resulted because of this? Another person hurt, a wall damaged or relationship ended? How are we to control the anger that enrages us? How are we to calm ourselves down?
It is important that you be angry and not bottle it up inside. But in order to alleviate and cool down, how do you cope with the anger within? Some people box—literally beating out the anger, others show their anger in their interpretation through arts and crafts. Others just play the piano or musical instrument in order to say it is ok from within. But you should deal with any anger promptly and then let it go.
What or who are you angry at or with? Why? Are you able to fix this relationship? Do you want to? Often when there is anger it is not a good time to fight, but to do so means that emotions are out there and they are free to be heard and seen. But are you willing to listen and hear responses from others and not get angry again? Controlling our angry is a skill we learn over time. Sometimes it is confused with frustration but there is hope. This hope is in knowing that it is ok to get angry but it is better to figure out why, let it out and move on. And sometimes God’s help, strength and guidance is required we just need to ask.
Holy God we praise you that we have emotions which include anger. This shows that we have the ability to think and reflect and to act on circumstances which we face. This also shows that we need you to guide us and lead us to something better as we strive to control our anger of self. Help us O God to be able to replace these moments of anger with hope and love. Amen.
RESOURCE “When Anger Burns: A Biblical View on Handling Anger” by Tim Jackson. Grand Rapids, MI: Our Daily Bread Ministries .