Friday, November 15, 2019

Anger that is Sin

“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath. Ephesians 4:26 

Few things are more destructive to Christians than anger. Anger causes us to lose our self-control and to say and do things we would otherwise never consider. Anger, if allowed to remain, turns into bitterness that eats away at our hearts. Scripture consistently commands believers to put away anger and lists it as one of the sins of the flesh (Eph. 4:31). At times, we try to defend our anger by citing Ephesians 4:26. As additional proof we argue that Jesus cleansed the temple in “righteous indignation.”Ephesians refers to anger that does not lead to sin. Jesus was capable of being angry without sinning. When Jesus cleared the temple, Scripture does not indicate that He was angry (Matt. 21:12–14; Mark 11:15–18; Luke 19:45–46). We must be careful not to justify our anger with Scripture. Ephesians 4:31 commands us to put away all anger. That does not mean that we cease to have strong convictions or lose our desire for justice. It does mean we refuse to allow others’sins to cause us to sin. Anger does not bring about God's redemptive work; far more often it hinders what God is working to accomplish. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Blackaby goes on to warn his readers about being careful concerned anger.

Anyone who has ever observed people knows that a festering anger is the worst kind.  One where, undoubtedly, someone or something is living rent-free in the person's mind. 

It's indeed confession time again.  Many years ago, God used a semi truck to change the course of my life.  Without getting into details of that incident, it's sufficient to say that anger within me was at an all time high.  Bitterness joined in as well as spontaneous rage.  It wasn't pretty.  At its root, I suppose, was the ripping away of my ability to control the following 8 weeks of my life due to recovery.   But the effects of that anger went on for quite a while afterwards. 

What did it profit me?  Absolutely nothing. 
If, for nothing else, it proved Scripture.  The anger of man does not bring about the righteous life God desires. 

As Blackaby also confronts, as shall I, this isn't what you see when Jesus made a scourge of ropes and cleared the Temple.  Jesus is the only one capable of righteous anger and not sinning in the process.  Indwelt by Him, yes, able to do that, we are not.  If it were all the time possible, Scripture would have mentioned it. We are to strive to not let the sun go down on our anger. Sometimes we will be able sometimes not. We aren't in that much control of our sin nature. 

To me it's in the same perspective as be Holy as I am Holy.  God sets the bar, not man. Therefore there's no adjusting it.

So what did I do about it? The greatest equalizer to anger and hate is forgiveness.  I had people to forgive, I wasn't able to meet that specific driver from that day to do so but I have forgiven him.  

Rage, anger, hate, do have a place in this world.  But only when tempered by Godliness.  Without the control of the Holy Spirit, we cannot experience it without sin.

Read Jeremiah, read Psalms.  In other books too. There are thousands of examples of both the right and wrong way of rage, anger and hate.  Moses, it cost him dearly.  Preventing him from entering the Promised land. Yet the examples of the anger of the Lord are all entirely different.  They are all examples of Godly anger to man's sin. 

We are and will be a work in progress as believers in Christ.  We aren't expected to always get everything right in our Christian walk.  But we are to strive for that level that Jesus put before us. 

The worst is the rent-free living in my head.  Phantom conversations that have never happened.  Not just about anger or non-existent confrontations, but of situations in other areas of life that are also considered sin. There are times like my mind's eye is glued to a trainwreck in my mind and can't let go. Then comes the asking Jesus to forgive me so that I can go on.  I am not strong enough in and of myself to do Spiritual warfare.  Not without the Spirit. 

Was listening to a sermon yesterday and in it the Pastor was referring to modern day blasphemy of the Spirit.  Things people attribute to the work of the Spirit that He doesn't do.  Christians.  He was referring to what Christians do in that regard.  The Spirit of God is 'of another kind' as Jesus Christ.  The same in purpose in power in everything.  He is our teacher.  

He is able to bring us through these moments of anger issues if we but call upon Him.  It's how I finally got past my anger concerning that semi truck driver.  It's how a great deal of the anger issues that I have had were taken care of.  He can get you through them too.

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