Saturday, June 7th, 2014
Christian Pitfalls (Part 14)
He who is slow to anger has great understanding,
But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.
Proverbs 14:29 (NASB)
A man's discretion makes him slow to anger,
And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.
Proverbs 19:11 (NASB)
World English Dictionary says anger is 'a feeling of great annoyance or antagonism as the result of some real or supposed grievance.' Easton's Bible Dictionary says anger 'is not necessarily sinful. It may, however, become sinful when causeless, or excessive, or protracted.'
The Bible says 'He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty' (Proverbs 16:32). Then I am weak. I've been quick to anger and slow to mercy, full of self-righteousness and empty of God-righteousness, blind to my own faults--but focused on the faults of others.
Anger is a consuming fire. In being consumed, I have consumed the peace of others.
At the same time, 'The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy' (Psalm 103:8). Regarding our sins, God is patient, 'Not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance' (2 Peter 3:9).
Then why are we impatient? Why are we rapid to rant over wrongs? What if we're wrong? What if the smoke of our stew clouds our vision? Surely, only God can see clearly.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: anger may be an act you play in a film, but resist outrage offstage. It will prevent your success, rather than further it. The only righteous anger is for others: to help them when you see them hurt. Even so, ask God's help before you jump in alone.
If you're angry for yourself, let it go. Turn the other cheek. 'Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity' (Ephesians 4:26-27). Because unrighteous or prolonged anger is fiery pit that burns you worst of all.
Believe in God to defend you. Believe in God to right all wrongs. If you step back, He'll step forward--without fail.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Christian Pitfalls series.