"Do not be anxious about anything but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

Friday, March 18, 2011

Righteous Anger

When was the last time you got really mad because of someone else's meanspirited behavior? It's one thing to get mad because of something someone has done to you but when someone else gets hurt because of another person's meanness then it makes me even madder. The kind of instances that come to mind quickly for me are bullying. I despise seeing someone being picked on.

Psalm 83 is a call to God to take action against those who are banding together against (picking on, bullying) Israel. He even suggests how God could bring the bad guys down.

However as people of God there are too many scriptures that remind of us of how we are to behave when we are hotheaded. (Romans 12:19, Colossians 3:8, James 1:19-20)

We should be angered at something unjust or wrong. We should do something about it. We should take action against these wrongs and in so doing being a part of the restoration of people. God permits us to express anger, but we aren't to sin in the process. "In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold." Ephesians 4:26

Lisa Harper, A Perfect Mess, writes: "God's love frees us to express righteous indignation and anger, then channel that emotion into redemptive action."

I know there have been times when you were red-in-the-face furious and lost your temper and you wanted to get back at somebody. It is hard to walk away from a situation like that and not say something.  Let God take care of it. "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord." Romans 12:19  

It is really hard to walk away from a situation where you or someone you love is being unjustly accused or berated about something. We always want to get in the last word. According to scripture: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Romans 12:20 In other words, kill them with kindness. That is mighty hard to do too.

In the end those who have hurt you usually realize it but it takes a change of their heart and God is the only one that can do that. Do not let the anger and bitterness overcome you. There are too many examples in the bible where God's team wins!

Psalm 83
1 O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God.
2 See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.
4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”
5 With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you—
6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
8 Even Assyria has joined them to reinforce Lot’s descendants.
9 Do to them as you did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10 who perished at Endor and became like dung on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.”
13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God, like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm.
16 Cover their faces with shame, LORD, so that they will seek your name.
17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD— that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

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