a superb day to pray, “Lord, take from me my anger.”
“…for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” James 1:20 NASB
It is difficult for any Christian to not feel anger when confronted with sin and injustice in the world. How can we not feel anger when we read about the estimated 50,000 Cambodian children sold into sexual slavery each year? How can we not feel anger when we read about 48,000 women a year being raped in the Congo? How can we not feel anger when we read about the millions of children who go to bed hungry throughout the world, including in the United States? How can we not get angry when we see so much time, effort, and money being spent producing and watching some of the filth that bombards us daily on our televisions?
But James was not speaking of this type of anger. That type of anger should ignite righteous indignation which also should spark us to action to contribute somehow to correcting those things we see that are wrong and are contrary to the teachings of Christ.
However, James was referring to selfish anger. Selfish anger is ‘all about me‘ anger:
“My feelings got hurt!”
“No one listens to me!”
“I am jealous!”
“I don’t like what that person said!”
“You didn’t cook my dinner the way I wanted!”
That type of anger ignites selfish indignation and almost always results in someone being hurt in a physical, emotional, or spiritual way.
People have pointed to Jesus Himself and said, “But Jesus got angry!”
Using Christ to excuse our own inability to control our temperament is almost as childish as not being able to control our temperament in the first place.
Jesus never got angry because someone hurt His feelings. He never got angry because His meal was cooked wrong. He never got angry because He was jealous.
Jesus got angry because of the sin He felt in peoples’ hearts, saw in their actions, and heard in their words. Jesus got angry because He saw people being mistreated, abused, or taken advantage of. It is important to note that He used His anger to teach.
His anger produced indignation that moved Him to take corrective steps.
So let us all become moved to take action when our anger is over things we see that are sinful or harmful to others. But when it comes to selfish, self-centered anger, let us pray, “Lord, take from me my anger.”
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson