Acting School (Part 18)
Anger's Proper Place
Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.
Ephesians 4:26-27 (NKJV)
An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression.
Proverbs 29:22 (NKJV)
Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 (NKJV)
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret--it only causes harm.
Psalm 37:8 (NKJV)
Then the Lord said, 'Is it right for you to be angry?'
Jonah 4:4 (NKJV)
Anger's proper place is with God: not man. For mortals, it's a potato too hot to handle. After we throw it around, we nurture it. We put it in a pot to simmer. As steam rises, Satan appears to fan the flame. With improper encouragement, our saucepan of soreness erupts--becoming a cauldron of contempt.
I have been challenged by anger since childhood. Before I surrendered to Christ, I prayed to God for self-control. But the Power of transformation was missing. Now I'm a new creation. Even so, old Carey can rise from the grave like a scene in Night of the Living Dead.
I thank God for His patience. As for my old self? I'm learning that surrender is a daily process, and self-control is fueled by the Holy Spirit. Consider two Bible heroes with anger issues: Moses and Jonah. Even with unholy provocation (an insufferable congregation in the time of Moses and the evil Assyrian empire in the time of Jonah), man's anger is not God's answer.
Only He knows the end from the beginning. Only He is perfectly controlled. Only He is 'Merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy' (Psalm 103:8). Because He remains 'Ready to pardon' (Nehemiah 9:17).
Suffering most extreme unrighteousness, Jesus told us how to act. He made it perfectly clear and brought the lesson home with a Personal demonstration on the Cross: forgive. Because He forgave us everything, we can forgive others anything--and so we must.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Acting School series.