Be ye slow to get angry
Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 7:11 p.m.
Greetings, in the name of Jesus.
Recently, there have been several high-profile news stories involving episodes of sudden violent, and sometimes even deadly, acts of violence carried out by people who have allowed their tempers to get the best of them, thereby causing grief and pain not only for them, but also for innocent and unsuspecting victims as well.
One of the most common examples of this is road rage, where a driver gets so angry at being cut off in traffic, or because another driver fails to use turn signals, a driver becomes so enraged that he or she becomes violent.
All of us, being in human form, have gotten angry about things or have directed our anger toward friends, family and even total strangers. Many of us, if we want to be honest with ourselves, can recall getting so angry at either a bad driver or a rude cashier or server that we wanted to react with harsh or profane words or even physical acts of violence.
This type of anger, saints, is not only mentally and physically unhealthy, but it is also spiritually displeasing to God. The good news here is that we do not have to fight our spirits of anger alone, and God's word is clear as to how we can be blessed by, as His word declares, not "giving place" to the devil.
Let me lay a brief foundation by examining the word "temper." The word is defined as "a state of mind or emotions; disposition of calmness of mind." With this definition now in place, we can understand how God both wants and expects us, His children, to be calm and keep our emotions under control.
If you examine God's word in Proverbs 15:1, you will read: "A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."
Wrath actually is another word for anger, and when we do not return someone's anger with our own, the person who is directing his or her anger toward us no longer has any power, and is forced to retreat, sometimes without saying one word.
If you will recall the biblical story of the woman caught in adultery, when the angry mob of people dragged the woman before Jesus with stones in their hands and with the expectation that Jesus would allow her to be stoned to death, the mob was caught totally off guard when Jesus, in a calm and even-toned voice, said to the mob, "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."
At this point in the story, the mob threw down their stones and walked away without saying another word to Jesus or the woman.
Space here does not permit me to expound further with more powerful examples, but let me leave you with this powerful word of God from Colossians 3:8. "But now, you yourselves are to put off all of these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth." (NKJV)
As God's word promises, He will be the avenger whenever someone intentionally mistreats us. God will be our voice when we are voiceless and will come to our defense in times of trouble, and He will indeed make our worse enemies leave us alone.
Never forget, saints, that the God we serve is not only our great and powerful God, but he also reminds us that we will be blessed by Him if we just hold our peace and let the Lord fight our battles.
Keep the faith, and may all of the blessings of God be upon you and yours today and always.
The Rev. Milford Lewis Griner is senior pastor of Pleasant Plain United Methodist Church in Jonesville.