I Like Being Angry
Last week, somebody—a Christian, in fact—told me he liked being angry. When I questioned if he really meant it, he repeated, “Yes, I like being angry.”
He then added, “It makes things happen.”
Like anger? Because it makes things happen?Oh, it makes things happen all right, but none of it is good. The results of anger are bad. It brings hurt and destruction. I’ve seen a wife curl up in a fetal position when her husband started ranting and raving. I’ve known rebellious teens turn away from God because of their parents’ anger. The news is full of cruelty and murder that comes from it. How could anyone like anger?
Like being angry? I was horrified at the thought. He spoke those words on the spur of the moment. I’m not sure he would stand by the comment, but I kept thinking about it nonetheless.
In Colossians 3:8, God tells us,
“But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.” (NASB)
With God’s Word so clear, how can a Christian like anger? The Lord’s intent is confirmed in Ephesians 4:31,
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” (NASB)
God wants us to get rid of our anger. However, as I contemplated the concept of liking to be angry, I realized that maybe it is not uncommon to like anger. It’s just not common to admit it. In fact, I became aware that there have been times when I liked being angry. Why? Because I felt like it would make things happen.
The times I remember were times when I was hurt by somebody close to me—somebody I expected to care for and protect me, not to harm me. When the injury was unexpected and deep, I wanted the offender to hurt too. I didn’t want to forgive until he/she apologized—or until he/she suffered too.
I always worked through it. I always came to a place of forgiving. However, there were times, especially with my husband—the one closest to me— that I hurt back before I forgave. Later, I always regretted the harm I caused, but that didn’t necessarily prevent it from happening again.
Why? Because in the moment I liked being angry! I thought it could make things happen, that I could get my way, or that it would even the score.
Recently, I ran across an explanation of why we like anger: “Anger is the weak person’s imitation of strength.”
I like anger when I feel wounded and weak. I like it because it makes me feel strong. However, that strength is imitation. It’s fake. It doesn’t deliver what I really want, and I always regret what happens through that artificial strength.
When we are wronged and feel weak, we don’t have to make things happen. Paul said,
“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10, NASB)
It is only as we are weak, and thus trust in God, that He shows Himself strong through us. He rarely intervenes when we try to defend ourselves instead of trusting Him. On the other hand, He will fight for us if we stay weak and yield to Him. We won’t need imitation strength if we learn to appreciate our weakness.
Teach me, Lord, to be glad in my weakness, and to seek Your strength when I’m wronged.
He hath acquainted himself with my beaten path. When he hath searched me out, I shall come out shining (Job 23:10, free translation).
“Faith grows amid storms” — just four words, but oh, how full of import to the soul who has been in the storms!
Faith is that God-given faculty which, when exercised, brings the unseen into plain view, and by which the impossible things are made possible. It deals with supernaturals. But it “grows amid storms”; that is, where there are disturbances in the spiritual atmosphere. Storms are caused by the conflicts of elements; and the storms of the spiritual world are conflicts with hostile elements. In such an atmosphere faith finds its most productive soil; in such an element it comes more quickly to full fruition.
The staunchest tree is not found in the shelter of the forest, but out in the open where the winds from every quarter beat upon it, and bend and twist it until it becomes a giant in stature this is the tree which the mechanic wants his tools made of, and the wagon-maker seeks.
So in the spiritual world, when you see a giant, remember the road you must travel to come up to his side is not along the sunny lane where wild flowers ever bloom; but a steep, rocky, narrow pathway where the blasts of hell will almost blow you off your feet; where the sharp rocks cut the flesh, where the projecting thorns scratch the brow, and the venomous beasts hiss on every side.
It is a pathway of sorrow and joy, of suffering and healing balm, of tears and smiles, of trials and victories, of conflicts and triumphs, of hardships and perils and buffetings, of persecutions and misunderstandings, of troubles and distress; through all of which we are made more than conquerors through Him who loves us.
“Amid storms.” Right in the midst where it is fiercest. You may shrink back from the ordeal of a fierce storm of trial…but go in! God is there to meet you in the center of all your trials, and to whisper His secrets which will make you come forth with a shining face and an indomitable faith that all the demons of hell shall never afterwards cause to waver.
–E. A. Kilbourne
A simple sermon for seeking souls
From: Charles Spurgeon
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
Suggested Further Reading: Ecclesiastes 5:1-7
“I thought,” said somebody addressing me one day, “I thought when I was in the garden, surely Christ could take my sins away, just as easily as he could move the clouds. Do you know, sir, in a moment or two the cloud was all gone, and the sun was shining. Thought I to myself, the Lord is blotting out my sin.” Such a ridiculous thought as that, you say, cannot occur often. I tell you, it does, very frequently indeed. People suppose that the greatest nonsense in all the earth is a manifestation of divine grace in their hearts. Now, the only feeling I ever want to have is just this,—I want to feel that I am a sinner and that Christ is my Saviour. You may keep your visions, and ecstasies, and raptures, and dances to yourselves; the only feeling that I desire to have is deep repentance and humble faith; and if, poor sinner, you have got that, you are saved. Why, some of you believe that before you can be saved there must be a kind of electric shock, some very wonderful thing that is to go all through you from head to foot. Now hear this, “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: …That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart…. Thou shalt be saved.” What do you want with all this nonsense of dreams and supernatural thoughts? All that is wanted is, that as a guilty sinner, I should come and cast myself on Christ. That done, the soul is safe, and all the visions in the universe could not make it safer.
For meditation: “God be merciful to me a sinner” was Christ’s description of a man calling upon God and being justified (Luke 18:13,14). Any insistence on special experiences and strange happenings is an evidence of having departed from Christ, the head of the church (Colossians 2:18,19).