Tuesday, May 13, 2014
May 13: Let’s all get angry
Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still. Selah. (Psalm 4:4 HCSB)
This is not a promise, but I want to include it because there is a promise here if you read between the lines and reflect on the examples of heroes of faith and on the practical workings of faith itself. Most Christians make the big mistake of labeling all anger as bad, but it’s not. There’s a proper place for anger, and in fact too many Christians are not angry enough at the situation of the world or their lives. If we would all stop and honestly compare our lives with what God has promised, and with what happened to others in the word of God, we would all, without exception, feel that something was wrong, and hopefully get angry. And if we did, there would be a huge chance that our lives would start to change because of that anger.
Just like yesterday’s verse, today’s is such a powerful concept that it is quoted by Paul in the New Testament book of Ephesians. It does not prohibit anger; in fact, it tells us to get angry, but not to sin. Most anger that we see around us is an uncontrolled, knee-jerk reaction to situations and people; it’s pure emotion, empty of any reason or thought. People just react the way they feel like reacting at the moment and usually live to regret it. But this type of anger will always lead to sin, to gratifying the flesh, to open doors for demons to come in and control us. This type of anger is always harmful and unproductive. What God is recommending is the type of well-thought-out anger that is intelligent, hits the mark, is always under control, and in the end brings benefits to everyone.
The world is not a perfect place, and there are any number of things that we come in contact with on a daily basis that have the potential to make us react in anger. Many of them are not worth it—we should forgive those people, and let go of those situations. But there are other things that happen to us that should be handled with a righteous, godly anger. In fact, when we don’t react with anger at certain situations, we are giving the devil permission to walk all over us. There are times that the only proper reaction is anger—good anger. There are times that God wants to bless us but He’s waiting for us to become indignant and to revolt against circumstances. Hannah did this, and so did Abraham, Gideon, Moses, Ester, Joshua, Paul, and Jesus to name a few. Every single one of them saw huge, life-changing blessings after they reacted in anger—proof that this attitude was the missing ingredient that they had been looking for.
Some people have a real hard time getting angry at their problems… or at the devil. The idea that anger is always bad has been hammered into their heads for so long that they have a real hard time getting angry. But just like true love for God involves hatred for the devil and sin, true peace with God involves anger at situations that conflict with the promises of God… and this is where this verse relates to promises. If we do not get angry at the fact that God has made promises but they’re not coming true in our lives, we will never experience those promises, even though God has given them to us. When we show anger in this way, we are proving that we genuinely believe in the promises of God and that we refuse to be denied what He has promised. This is a necessary step to seeing them come true.
Let’s all get angry!