Angry at Change, Process, others? Part 3
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t’ they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
There are different sources for our anger- both external and internal. External factors do affect us as we think we are reacting to external stimuli. We even reason that ‘if we hadn’t been treated so poorly, we wouldn’t have gotten angry.” As individuals we essentially live for ourselves and so when asked we often live primarily for ourselves. Life is unfair and this also causes us to be angry. Life is also difficult as it is filled with thorns and thistles (John 16:33) but what we perceive to be external sources for our anger are really external.
We often get angry when we do not get what we want when we want it. The desires within us fuel our conflicts especially when we want something that matters to us. God created us with the desire for love and respect and with a longing to be enjoyed and to know that we matter. All the lesser desires are linked to the core desires of love and relationship.
We are also afraid which grows out of a lack of faith and confidence that God is really who he says he is. And when we think this we look to find a god of our own making which we think we can control. We also rebel against God and look to others to provide what only God can supply. We fear we don’t have what it takes to make it on our own. We need others to agree with our plans. But we fear they won’t cooperate and give us what we want.
We also rebel against God and this forces us to demand that others fill in for him. Inevitably they will fail and so these unfulfilled demands give rise to anger.
Asking God to meet our needs is one thing. But when our desires become demands we become arrogant rebels. The solution for anger then requires a growing confidence in the presence and promises of One we cannot see. Through the disappointments, losses, and frustrations of life we must learn that our well-being lies not in our demands but in his loving and capable hands.
When was the last time you became anger? Who was receiving that anger from you? Under what circumstance did that person fail to meet your desires or demands? How did you respond when they said no? What should you have done instead? When we have disagreements or fights and quarrels have we always considered asking God first? Or are we asking God with the wrong motives so that we can get what we want? And if we do not receive what we want with whom are we really angry?
Wonderful God we need to come to you in prayer prior to our growing angry but we often pray after words are said in anger that we cannot take back. Help us O God to ask you first; seek your way; and enable us to show you who we are and what it is we need from you. Love us O God we ask even when we are angry at and with you. This we ask in faith and in hope in Jesus’ name. Amen.
RESOURCE “When Anger Burns: A Biblical View on Handling Anger” by Tim Jackson. Grand Rapids, MI: Our Daily Bread Ministries. (p.17-22)