The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us

A Life of Anger

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O.K.  I’m taking a short break from my schedule-making series to talk about something that impacted me yesterday morning.  However, I will not be breaking from the manly theme Bill desires.  I’ll prove it later on.

A couple of years ago, a good friend of mine told me that she was still angry with me about a sin I had committed against her almost 2 1/2 years before.  I was shocked that someone could hold a grudge for that long, but then I began realizing that my heart is just as black in the same area.  You can see a post referring to some of my struggles here.  I began looking closely at my friend and realized that although she is a believer, she is a woman with little joy.  She becomes bitter and angry easily and talks about things and people that bother her for long periods of time.  It is much easier for her to see others’ sins than her own, so she has never dealt with this heart issue.  Sadly, she seems to be full of resentment about life and lacking in contentment.  As I examined myself, I saw that I was headed down the same road and that I needed much grace to heal me from this disease of hate.  So, I began praying for the grace needed, looking wherever I could for wisdom from others and meditating on scripture about anger.

I am currently reading through Life As a Vapor by John Piper, a man (see–manly 😉 ), and yesterday he had these words:

Remember that God will vindicate your just cause and settle all accounts better than you could.  Either your offender will pay in hell, or Christ has paid for him.  Your payback would be either double jeopardy or an offense to the cross.  “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord'” (Romans 12:19).  “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting [his cause] to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).”

How that convicted me!  There are many passages that speak against the sin of anger, but I had never thought about it quite like that.  I should be sad, not angry, when unbelievers sin against me because I know what anguish they will one day face.  And when a believer sins against me, I have no right to be angry because Christ has already covered the offense as He has all of mine.  How sinful and ugly my heart is to think I have a right to hold a grudge toward anyone!  But how righteous and beautiful God is because he is just, merciful, and sovereign!

P.S.  Make sure to read Bill’s funny blog below. 🙂

One thought on “A Life of Anger

  1. I’ve heard it said that we should view our spouses as God views them: forgiven sinners. I think the principle is similar: we need to view all saints (literally “holy ones,” i.e. those God has saved through Christ) with the understanding that if God has forgiven them, so should we. Our own sins of anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness really show how we think that either their sin is worse than ours ( a bad idea) or that Christ’s death wasn’t powerful enough to cover their sin (a really bad idea). And if they’re not believers, then God will “take care of it” in His own time. Ultimately, it reveals our self-centeredness as we’re more concerned with the offense against us than we are the offense against God.

    I don’t get angry very easily, but I still struggle with anger daily: annoyance at coworkers, frustration at my physical appearance, rage at the bad driver in front of me. When I do, it’s a huge struggle to see how my own trivial and petty preferences (which are usually the source of my anger) are miniscule compared to the multitude of sins that I’ve committed in my short life, all of which have been washed away by the blood of Christ. And sadly, this reveals that I’m losing sight of the great joy found only in God and the eternity He’s promised by short-sightedly focusing on the sinner (who is no worse than I) right in front of me. I pray that God would give me a far-sighted vision for His future glory that so startling overshadows the “troubles” of this present life.

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