Day 31: Meditations in Anger, Patience, and Peace
Updated: Jul 6, 2021
Full vent or Straight-up Embarrassment. Anger does not make us behave in particular ways, but rather in our anger we choose to behave in what can be ridiculous ways. Temper tantrums by toddlers are wrong, but somewhat understandable. Temper tantrums by adult men or women are wrong and shameful. I have witnessed men on the golf course throwing clubs, screaming and jumping around, or just walking off. I know a man who had a bad score in bowling, he responded in rage by throwing his bowling ball out of the window of his truck while driving down the road. I have witnessed some of the worst tantrums in church softball leagues for bad calls, bad plays, and for being substituted. When our anger goes into "full vent" we can bring great shame on us and on our Savior.
Proverbs 29:11 teaches that a fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man quietly holds back. There is nothing good about surrendering our behavior to our anger. There is no excuse for uncontrolled words or actions. There is no place for blind fury in the life of the believer. Ephesians 4:31 tells us that since we have put on the new man made in the image of God, we must put away bitterness, rage, and anger (NIV).
Proverbs 19:3 (NIV) A person's own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the Lord. Our anger leads to our own ruin, but more importantly, our anger is directed at the Lord. Literally, our hearts in anger, rage against God. We are raising our fist against Him. We are stomping and throwing ourselves down on the ground against Him. We are in a blind fury against God.
We can be sure that when we are raging against God we are sealing ourselves off from His wisdom, grace, mercy, love, joy, peace, etc. We cannot rage against others and thrive in our relationships with them. We cannot rage against God, and grow closer to Him at the same time. In our anger we move farther away from Him and turn pointing the finger at Him as the one to blame for our situation. Our rage against God blinds us to His goodness and His enabling power to face the challenges, difficulties, and disappointments of life. Our temper tantrums against God for not giving us what we want prevent us from seeing Him as the Giver of all that is good in our lives. Our fury isolates us from experiencing His presence.
So, what foolish behavior has been ignited by our anger? Is it time that we quit stomping around, and turn in humility to the One who can bring calm to our soul?
Proverbs 19:3, 29:11; Ephesians 4:31