Tag Archives: anger

Covered Over in His Love

Story of the Day for Tuesday October 4, 2011

Covered Over In His Love

 

                    “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in kindness.  He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his wrath forever.  He does not treat us as our sins deserve nor repay us according to our crimes. 

Psalm 103:8-9

 When God looks at the wreckage we have made of His beautiful world, how should he respond?   He responds with anger.

We are slightly embarrassed by the countless biblical references to God’s wrath.   But our problem stems from thinking God gets angry for the same reason we do: wounded pride, vanity, selfishness, an ugly mood.

God is angry because He is good.  Anger is the proper response to evil, and God is justly angered by all the sin and injustice on this planet.  A loving and good God will not allow evil to claim victory.

 

But all this talk about God’s anger and wrath is Old Testament stuff, right?  Wrong.  Paul, especially, speaks repeatedly of God’s anger — both his present anger on evil and the coming day of His wrath.

Yet, what if God Himself could suffer the punishment for the evils we have committed?   What if God did exactly that by taking on human form and walking to the “Place of the Skull” to suffer in our place?  This is the message of good news.  Jesus has suffered the anger of God in our place.

 

Prairie fires often hit fast and devastate farmlands.  Once, a grassfire swept through a farm on the plains.  When it was over a farmer’s land was nothing but smoke and blackness.  As he walked out back to survey the damage he saw the charred remains of a hen.  He kicked the hen over and couldn’t believe what he saw.  Out from under the hen popped several little chicks.   The mother hen covered her chicks with her body to shield them from the fire.

Jesus is our refuge from the wrath of God.  Paul says that God’s anger is poured out on all those who refuse that refuge.  But, in Romans 5, he says, “Since we have now been declared ‘Not Guilty’ by [Jesus’] blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him.”

When we trust in Christ’s sacrifice for us, we need no longer fear the anger of God.  We can rest secure in his forgiveness.

So, think of what this means?  We have not acted rightly toward God.  He ought to be angry and seek vengeance.  Instead, he forgives.

 

Already in the Old Testament, the Bible speaks these words of comfort, “He does not treat us as our sins deserve, or repay us according to our iniquities.”   He has covered them over in His love.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

 

Move the Kettle Off the Burner

Story of the Day for Thursday July 7, 2011

Move the Kettle Off the Burner

 

                                   A fool gives full vent to his anger but a wise man holds it back. 

                                                                                        Proverbs 29:11

 Anger is meant to make the world a better place, yet sadly, our anger usually leaves a trail of destruction. We lash out in anger but our intent is not to help, but to hurt others.  Our anger is retaliation to those we think have wronged us. And we want it to sting.

 

Yet, just as we are about to make the crucial first step of admitting the harm our anger is causing, the “experts” wave the latest research in our face.  Suppressing anger, we are told, is psychologically damaging.  We must learn to “vent.”

When psychologists say ventilation is beneficial, we must ask, beneficial for whom?  Is venting beneficial to the poor soul whose car stalled at the traffic light as he listens to the angry honking cars behind him?  Is ventilation beneficial to you when you make a mistake and someone explodes with rage? Look, if “ventilation” is good because I feel better after cursing you, it is still an act of selfishness; others must suffer deep wounds for the sake of my “relief.”

Once someone tried to rationalize their hot temper by saying, “I blow up, and then it’s all over.” Their friend pondered this, then replied, “A shotgun does the same thing. But look at the damage it leaves behind.”

The fact is, ventilation is not good. Not for others, and not for yourself. Recent psychological research on anger has reversed its former advocacy for ventilation. Beside the obvious fact that “venting” corrodes relationships, psychologist are now finding that venting anger does not decrease but increases your inner rage and bitterness.  To put it simply: The more you vent, the angrier you become.

We’re finally catching up with God. The Bible has taught from ancient times, “A fool gives vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it back.”

Psychologist, Gary Emery, has found that only one out of three hundred happily married couples reported that they yell at each other. Healthy relationships are not fostered because couples have learned to “vent.”

 

When you set a tea kettle on a hot burner, how do you keep the kettle from exploding? One way is to allow the steam to escape. If you choose to do this, you will have a continuous plume of scalding steam. But, there is another way: move the kettle off the burner!

Did you know that God is not angry with you because of your sin? He wants you to bask in the inner peace that comes from knowing this.

It’s a new day when you realize that God has come to you to take you off the stove.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Get Rid of the Garbage

Story of the Day for Tuesday June 7, 2011

Get Rid of the Garbage

 

                   Get rid of all bitterness and rage, and anger and shouting, and cursing and any kind of evil.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, showing grace to each other, just as in Christ God showed grace to you. 

                                                                       Ephesians 4:31-32

 

 

So, how do we take control of our anger?

For starters, let’s realize that anger does not control us.  We like to say, “You make me so angry,” but no one makes us angry.   We choose to become angry because of our own pride or impatience or selfishness.

 

Secondly, be careful about the environment you choose.  Have you ever watched other groups of people and noticed how they tend to adopt similar habits of behaving?  Though it is much easier to notice in other people, we all do the same thing.  That is why Proverbs 22 says, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man.  Do not associate with someone who is easily angered, or you might learn his ways.”

 

Third, don’t resort to cheap fixes.  Find the source.

Let’s suppose my house reeks from rotting garbage.  What can I do?  I could open a window and let in some fresh air.  Good idea, right? And what would that do?  Besides being unpleasant to my neighbors it would only lesson the stench temporarily.

There is another way to relieve the disgusting smell.  Get rid of the garbage!

The Bible tells us to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”  God’s Word isn’t telling us to open a window, but to get rid of the garbage.

We are to replace anger with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.

That’s great, but how?  The apostle Paul continues, by “showing grace to each other just as, in Christ, God showed grace to you.”

That’s the key.  If we are bitter it is because we haven’t dealt with our own guilt.  Let God forgive you.  He’s not mad at you.   He has taken all his anger for the injustice of our sin on Jesus.   People who have accepted this kind of love from God are well on their way to laying down their anger.

 

Years ago, a pastor told us about visiting one of his members.  As she recounted a grievance about someone from years ago, the pastor expressed surprise that she could even remember all the details that happened so many years ago.

She explained, “Oh, I keep a book.  Every time someone hurts me, I write it all down.”

The pastor then learned she had been keeping a record of grievances for 25 years.  After patiently explaining the beauty of our forgiveness by Christ, he told her she needed to take her book and immediately throw it in the fireplace.

She paused.  Then, with a sigh, her precious book was turned to ash.

They prayed. And then she smiled, because she knew she was free.